The 20th International conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes (Harmo20) is aimed towards model developers, model users, environmental protection agencies and legislation experts. What distinguishes this conference from many others is its focus on common tools and methodologies.
Focus of the conference
The series of international conferences on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes is concerned with the improvement of “modelling culture” both in Europe and at an international level.
Dispersion modelling is widely used for regulatory purposes, both for permits and for assessments, but there is a lack of sufficient mechanisms to make modelling processes transparent and ensure trust in modelling results.
There are many open questions and aspects of this, such as: Are the models scientifically sound for the purpose they are used? Are the mode
ls validated against observations or physical experiments? Are the models properly used by the experts? Are the users familiar with good practices and do they avoid bad practices? Are model developments sufficiently quality assured? Are reference problems established? Is proper exchange of experiences ensured? Work on these questions is needed in order to assess the air quality impacts on society and nature, on human health, biodiversity and climate.
Such issues that are not specific for one particular model, but common to several, are in focus at the 20th International conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes.
The series of Harmonisation conferences started in 1991 (see www.harmo.org) and is a natural forum for discussing modelling issues related to the European Union air quality directives. European networks such as the FAIRMODE network and COST Actions can use the conference in order to expose their work to a wider audience.
The Harmonisation conferences provide the ground where model users and decision-makers can bring their requirements to the attention of scientists and search together for better regulatory tools and indicators for the diverse impacts of air quality.