Air Quality research

Atmospheric pollutants have a detrimental impact on the environment and human health. Our main goal at the Air Quality research unit at SMHI is to support the Swedish national authorities with research and development in the field of Air Quality, which implies involvement in both national and international research projects.

There is a broad range of environmental issues related to substances emitted to the atmosphere from anthropogenic and natural sources. The issues may concern long-term effects, like climate change, acidification or eutrophication, or be of a short-term nature like the effects of toxic species. Good Air Quality is an important target for a sustainable society.

The activities of the Air quality research unit at SMHI cover the modelling of atmospheric dispersion, chemical and physical transformations and the deposition of substances from global to local scales. A range of different models are developed and applied.

About Air Quality research at SMHI

Air Quality modelling on different scales

Some contributions to the concentrations are caused by local emission sources, while other contributions are caused by long-range transportation. In our research we use and develop dispersion models on various spatial scales, suitable for different issues. More about our research:

Air Quality on local and urban scale

Air Quality on regional scale

Dispersion models

Models are important tools for calculating the dispersion of air pollutants in the atmosphere. At SMHI we develop and apply a range of models on different geographical scales, custom-made for different issues. More information about our models:


MATCH - regional and global transport and chemistry model

SIMAIR - coupled model concept for road traffic and wood combustion

Emissions of particles and black carbon and their impact on air quality

SMHI has, together with the Ministry of the Environment in Chile and the regional environmental authority of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, evaluated a rapid methodology to assess the emissions of particulate matter (PM) and black carbon (BC) from typical cities in southern Chile and Brazil. 

Aerosol modelling - for increased health and improved climate simulations

Photo: Mats Gustafsson och Göran Blomqvist, VTI.

A greater understanding of aerosol particles is important due to their potentially negative impact on human health and ecosystems, but they also play an important role in the global climate by their influence on Earth's radiation balance.

Research in aerosol modelling

Air Quality and climate change

In a future climate the concentrations and depositions of air pollutants may change considerably - resulting in the elimination of our current view of emission reductions.

Air Quality and Climate Change

Exposure, health effects and external costs

Exposure to air pollution has a negative impact on human health, which brings about high external costs.

Exposure, health effects and external costs