A monitoring programme should be designed for duration. This means that methods should not only be appropriate with respect to detection limits and accuracy, but they should also be as simple as possible and they should be documented in such a way that measurements will be comparable over many decades. In this connection, it is particularly important to understand that results are dependent on methods, instruments and procedures. Within the European monitoring network (EMEP) there are several different sampling procedures for the main air components, SO2, NO2, + HNO3, and co-located experiments have therefore been initiated to quantify the difference between the measurements. Reference methods and reference instruments corresponding to the recommendation in the EMEP Manual have been run together with the usual measurements at EMEP sites in several countries. The results are generally satisfactory, especially in the case where identical methods are used. However, there are also some unacceptable differences, e.g. when comparing NO2 and SO2 monitors with the reference methods. The monitors do have a main advantage of providing easily accessible data with short time resolution; nevertheless, the accuracy at low concentrations is usually poor. The traditional reference methods need development and simplification in the direction of the more appealing automatic instruments.
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- Standardisation of Methods for Long-Term Monitoring
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