National Physical Laboratory

Virtual Chimney Research

Environmental measurement scientists at NPL provide high quality, cost effective pollution monitoring and analysis services. All of our measurements are traceable to UK National Standards.  
Environmental balloon
Environmental jet

Climate Change and Environmental Research

NPL carries out a wide range of research into environmentally relevant topics. Topics include climate change, development of novel measurement techniques, and other supporting metrology.

Example research programmes include:


  • Although legislation for airborne particles is currently based on the total mass of particles below a certain size, many other parameters are important for health or scientific studies.
  • An advanced Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) instrument is being developed in the UK for operation on board the NERC Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) aeroplane.
  • Global climate change is amongst the most important scientifically-driven issues challenging policymakers around the world. At the heart of the conflicting responses to the climate change issue is the need to establish and quantify the key mechanisms and feedback processes involved.
  • The HAMAQ project, which ran from 3 years from December 1996 was intended to improve the consistency of air quality measurements of the pollutants CO, NO, SO2, NO2 and C6H6 made throughout Europe.
  • Measurements of emissions from stacks are required to fulfil regulatory requirements, European Air Quality Directives and UK obligations under international treaties such as the Kyoto Agreement.
  • A team of NPL scientists is currently stationed in the Swiss Alps' Jungfraujoch Research Station, taking measurements of water vapour with the aim of improving climate models.


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission