Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory

The mission of the Cyprus Atmospheric Observatory (CAO) at Agia Marina Xyliatou is to provide high quality, long-term observations of key atmospheric pollutants relevant to air quality and climate change.

Located at a regional background site in Cyprus, the station is co-operated with the Department of Labour Inspection (DLI), which is in charge of the air quality network in Cyprus. The station is ideally located for documenting and contrasting long-range transported pollution from three continents (Europe, Africa, and West Asia), and dust aerosols from the two largest desert regions in the world (Sahara, Middle East). It offers on-site facilities and supportive infrastructure for research, development, and testing of technologies related to atmospheric measurements. It is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation jointly operated with research teams from CNRS in France, within the framework of the French Chemistry-Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment (ChArMEx) program.

Access to the station by the international scientific community is possible on a merit-based priority scheme, that is made possible via EU funding. This facility is an active component of major international atmospheric networks, and is supported by the Horizon 2020 ACTRIS2 project, which is the European Research Infrastructure for the observation of Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases, and is currently on the roadmap of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). CAO has also been accepted as a regional station in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme, and is the first GAW regional station in Cyprus, and the first ever, in providing the most comprehensive set of quality controlled long-term atmospheric observations in the Eastern Mediterranean - Middle East (EMME) region.

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