Long-term Development of Air Quality 2018

Statistical Base / Methodology

The German Federal States are mandated to record their air pollution continuously and to reduce emissions sustainably under § 44 Para. 1 of the Federal Immission Protection Law (BImSchG) and the 39th BlmSchV. Berlin meets these requirements comprehensively, both in terms of recording and evaluating emissions and in terms of monitoring air pollutants.

Since 1975, the atmospheric pollution load in Berlin has been monitored continuously with the aid of the Berlin Clean Air Measurement Network (BLUME) of the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection. Currently (as of September 2016), the network consists of 16 fixed measurement stations for air pollutants, supplemented by one meteorological station and one mobile measurement unit, the “measurement bus”. Every five minutes, each station measures all air pollutants and transfers the results to the Control Centre on Brückenstrasse (borough of Mitte); from this, half-hourly, hourly and daily values are calculated forming the basis for further analyses.

The Report on the Emissions Register 2015 (pdf, 8 MB, only in German) details the statistical bases and methods for updating emissions in the State of Berlin. There is therefore no reason to repeat them here. All measuring and gathering of data on immissions is performed by the Berlin Clean Air Measurement Network (BLUME).

Since road traffic for most pollutants accounts for a considerable proportion of the immission load, the automatic monitoring network has been supplemented with additional measurements since the mid-90s. These involve small sampling devices attached to street lamps (soot and benzene immission collectors = RUBIS) and passive collectors, especially in areas with high traffic volumes lacking the space to operate measuring containers. The elemental carbon and nitrogen oxide loads are thus assessed every two weeks at 23 additional points in the Berlin city area (as of September 2018). Further information and monthly updates are published in addition to the annual updates of the Environmental Atlas Map. For this purpose, a separate website “Berliner Luftgütemessnetz” (Berlin Clean Air Measurement Network) has been set up, providing access to both current and archived data, which may be viewed or used further.