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Long-term Development of Air Quality 2020

Statistical Base / Methodology

The German Federal States are mandated to record their air pollution continuously and to reduce emissions sustainably under Article 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, only in German) of the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection. Currently (as of December 2020), the measurement network consists of 17 fixed measurement stations which measure air pollutants for air quality assessment purposes. In addition, a separate station for internal investigations, a measurement vehicle for mobile use and a meteorological station are being operated. Every five minutes, each station measures all air pollutants and transfers the results to the Control Centre on Brückenstrasse (borough of Mitte); from this, characteristic values incl. 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. These are used to estimate the elemental and organic carbon (EC and OC) pollution is additionally at 23 locations in the Berlin city area every two weeks; the nitrogen oxide pollution is estimated at 42 locations (as of July 2020). 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, only in German) has been set up, providing access to both current and archived data, which may be viewed or used further.