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The ClearfLo (Clean Air for London) project began in January 2011, with the set up of instrumentation at a number of sites in London. This first observation period began on the 6 Jan, and runs through to the 11 Feb 2012. Once the instruments are in place they shall be making measurements of the meteorology, gaseous composition and particulate loading (both important for air quality) of London's urban atmosphere. These measurements will be at both ground level and elevated sites such as the BT Tower.

Many of the instruments will be left making measurements after the 11th of February intending to make long term measurements of London's urban atmosphere will help the scientists to understand the relationships between meteorology, gases and particles in the air at both a rural, city (away from traffic) and street-side location.

Weather Station set up during ClearfloThere are many questions regarding urban meteorology and air pollution that measurements like these could start to answer. One such question, that the ClearfLo specifically aims to answer regards the heat content and the mixing of the boundary layer of London, especially at night.

Particulates - or particles in the air are very important, they can be harmful to human health and they affect visibility. Measuring the number of particles, their size, and complimenting this with measurements of the chemical properties of the particles is all part of the plan for ClearfLo. Working backwards from this data the scientists should be able to calculate where and why they were formed.

All of the data collected will also be used to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a current air quality model.

Although many of the instruments will be running continuously, some will only be in-situ only for the Intensive Observation Periods. A second intensive observation period is planned to take place in the summer of 2012 during the London Olympics: 21st July – 23rd August 2012.

From the ClearfLo website:

P1010004The ClearfLo (Clean Air for London) Project is a collaborative scientific project involving several academic institutions in the UK, to set up air pollution monitoring sites alongside meteorological measurements to investigate boundary layer pollution across London.

The ambition of ClearfLo is to provide long-term integrated measurements of the meteorology, composition and particulate loading of London's urban atmosphere, made at street level and at elevated sites, complemented by modelling to improve predictive capability for air quality.

The clearfLo team also have a Blog - ClearfLo BLOG - so you can keep up to date with the set up and observations taking place in London.