Meteorological Synthesizing Centre - East (MSC-E)

is one of the international research Centres of the EMEP programme operating under the LRTAP Convention of UNECE.

The Centre focuses its efforts on model assessment of the environment pollution with various toxic substances.

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Contribution to UNEP Global Mercury Assessment

MSC-E continues cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). A new Global Mercury Assessment 2018 is now under development in accordance with the request of the UN Environment Governing Council (Decision 27/12). MSC-E takes part in the assessment coordinating work of an international group of experts focused on modelling of mercury pollution on global and regional scales.

MSC-E/INM Technical Report 4/2006
"Assessment of lead pollution levels in Belarus with fine spatial resolution (EMEP case study)"

Country-specific case study on assessment of lead pollution levels in Belarus in 2012 is completed. This work was carried out in close cooperation with national experts form Institute of Natural Management of National Academy of Science of Belarus (INM). The experts from Belarus submitted a set of necessary input data for the work, including national emissions with fine spatial resolution (10x10 km2) and splitting to source categories, measured concentrations of lead in air at background station ‘Berezinskiy Reserve’ and at urban stations in Belarusian cities, and concentrations of lead in soils. The results were jointly analyzed by experts from Belarus and MSC-E.

Emission of lead (kg/km2/y) in 2012 in modelling domain including Belarus and surrounding areas (left) and location of monitoring stations (Pb in air) in the selected domain (right)

Spatial distribution of concentrations in air demonstrated gradient from the western and the south-western parts to the north-eastern part of the country. Deposition fluxes were distributed non-uniformly across the country. Higher deposition levels were noted for the south-western part of the country because of distribution of national emissions and atmospheric precipitation.


Annual mean concentrations in air (left) and total annual deposition (right) of lead with resolution 10x10 km2. Circles in map (a) mean observed air concentrations at monitoring stations

Contributions of three types of emission sources were assessed, namely anthropogenic sources, secondary sources within the EMEP region and sources located outside the EMEP domain (non-EMEP sources). The contribution of anthropogenic sources to total deposition to Belarus was 34%, secondary sources – 60% and non-EMEP sources – 6%. Regional-mean contribution of secondary sources to deposition ranged from 47% in the Brest region to 65% in the Mogilev region. The highest contribution of anthropogenic sources, both in relative and in absolute terms, was noted for the western part of Belarus making around 50% in the Brest and Grodno regions.


Deposition fluxes of lead to Belarusian regions in 2012 (left) and map of administrative regions of Belarus (right)

Contribution from foreign emission sources to anthropogenic deposition in Belarus made up 94%, and that from national sources – 6%. The main contributor to anthropogenic deposition to Belarus was Poland (52%), followed by Ukraine (11%) and Germany (3%). However, these contributions varied significantly across the country’s territory.


Contribution of national and foreign sources to anthropogenic deposition in Belarus (left) and spatial distribution of contribution of foreign sources to anthropogenic deposition in Belarus (right) in 2012

The highest contribution to deposition in Belarus from national sources came from emission source category ‘Iron and Steel Production’ (46%), followed by ‘Combustion in industries’ (21%),  ‘Electricity and Heat’ (15%) and ‘Other Chemical Industry’ (8%). However, the regional differences in contributions were substantial. The largest contribution of ‘Iron and Steel Production’ was noted for the Homel region (71%). ‘Combustion in Industries’ group was the main pollution source in the Grodno region (53%). The highest contribution of ‘Electricity and Heat’ and ‘Other Chemical Industry’ took place in the Vitebsk region (30% and 21%, respectively).

Spatial distribution of lead deposition from national sources and contributions of national emission source categories to anthropogenic deposition from national emissions in administrative regions of Belarus in 2012

Contribution to deposition of lead in Belarusian cities was distinguished between secondary and anthropogenic sources. Anthropogenic sources were considered as a sum of ‘external’ and ‘city’ sources. The main contributor to city pollution were secondary sources which contribution varied from around 40% to 65%. Among anthropogenic sources the major contribution to pollution in the cities was made by ‘external’ sources (75-96%), while the role of ‘city’ sources was comparatively low (4 – 25%).     


Deposition of lead in Belarusian capital cities in 2012 from different sources (left) and relative contribution of city, foreign and national external sources to anthropogenic deposition (right)

The comparison of modelled and observed air concentrations at the national background monitoring station ‘Berezinskiy reserve’ demonstrated that the observed levels were underestimated by the model. Possible reasons contributing to this discrepancy included uncertainties of the model, underestimation of the emission data and uncertainties of measurement data. For the analysis of heavy metal emission data in the EECCA counties joint efforts of national emission experts of these countries together with CEIP and TFEIP are required. Besides, in order to improve quality of measurements in the EECCA region, participation of national laboratories in the regular intercomparisons under the CCC supervision is appreciated. Finally, additional direction of the research could be focused on investigation of other pollutants in Belarus. It could help to understand if the considered situation is unique for lead or it is typical for other pollutants, for example, particulate matter or acidifying compounds

This section contains information on MSC-E co-operation with the subsidiary bodies of the Convention, national experts, and international organizations in the field of the assessment air pollution by HMs and POPs.


Task Force on Measurements and Modelling (TFMM)

TFMM provides a forum to the EMEP Centres, national experts, international organizations for scientific consideration and evaluation of activities regarding pollution assessment. MSC-E takes part in the work of the Task Force annually presenting the outcome of its studies on HMs and POPs and discussing a number of topics, particularly, fine spatial resolution modeling and country specific case studies on the assessment of HM pollution levels on national scale, development of global scale multi-pollutant modeling system (GLEMOS) changing of the EMEP grid system.

Task Force on Hemispheric Transport of Air Pollution (TFHTAP)

MSC-E contributes to the TF HTAP activities related to heavy metal and POP pollution assessment. The Centre was actively involved in various multi-model numerical experiments and in preparation of the HTAP Assessment Report 2010. In particular, it co-ordinated the drafting work on the mercury (Part B) and POPs (Part C) parts of the Assessment.


Working Group on Effects (ICP-Vegetation)

MSC-E closely cooperates with Working Group of Effects. In particular, information on HM pollution is used by Coordinating Centre on Effects (CCE) for evaluation of exceedances of current or projected deposition over threshold levels (CCE Status Report 2010). In addition to this, data on HM deposition and results of surveys of HM concentrations in terrestrial mosses are used in joint analysis of pollution levels and their trends in cooperation with ICP-Vegetation.


Helsinki Commission (HELCOM)

In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (HELCOM) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe the EMEP Centres prepared an annual joint EMEP report on the assessment of airborne pollution load to the Baltic Sea. Along with the contribution to the joint annual EMEP report, MSC-E prepares environmental indicator fact sheets with the updated information on variations of atmospheric emissions of Cd, Pb, Hg and PCDD/Fs and levels of their deposition to the Baltic Sea.


OSPAR Commission

In framework of colaboration with OSPAR Commission MSC-E contributed to the evaluation of input of hazardous substances to the OSPAR maritime area. Particularly, the Centre carried out the assessment of atmospheric deposition of selected HMs and POPs over the five OSPAR regions at the request of the OSPAR Commission (OSPAR Commission publications, 375/2008, 447/2009).


Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP)

MSC-E continuously cooperates with the AMAP programme for more then 15 years participating in various pollution assessment initiatives focused on contamination of the Arctic environment. The Centre took part in a number of AMAP Assessments and other other projects related to heavy metals and POPs:

Arctic Pollution 2011 - Mercury in the Arctic
Technical Background report to the Global Atmospheric Mercury Assessment (AMAP/UNEP, 2008)
Assessment of Long-range Transport of Hg, PCBs and y-HCH to the Russian North (EMEP/MSC-E Technical Report, 2003)
AMAP Assessment 2002 - Heavy Metals in the Arctic


Minamata Convention on Mercury

EMEP participates in various activities aimed at scientific support of international efforts to abate mercury pollution on global and regional scales. In particular, MSC-E took part in preparation of the Global Mercury Assessment 2013 for negotiations of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. Estimates of Hg pollution on a global scale were recently updated by the Centre. Levels of Hg air concentration and deposition in different terrestrial and aquatic regions of the globe were assessed for present conditions by means of the GLEMOS model. Particular attention was paid to evaluation of Hg deposition to major fishing areas of the ocean keeping in mind the primary role of the fish consumption in human health exposure to mercury. The work was partly funded by the EU FP7-ENV-2010 project "Global Mercury Observation System" (GMOS, Grant Agreement N 265113). Results of the study were used to support the TF HTAP activities on mercury and presented at the Diplomatic Conference for the Minamata Convention (Japan, October 2013).


Cooperation with national experts

MSC-E actively cooperates with national experts from various countries. In particular, in order to support local-scale modelling in Italy carried out by ENEA information on HM and POP concentrations were provided by MSC-E (EMEP Status Report 2/2011). Joint analysis of PCDD/Fs concentrations measured at Swedish stations was undertaken in the framework of BalticPOPs research project (2010-2011) initiated by the Swedish EPA. Finally, MSC-E leads the country-specific case studies on HM pollution assessment in the Czech Republic, Croatia, the Netherlands and Belarus.



Introducing JSN Epic

Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The active involvement of the countries of EECCA is imperative to the regional cohesiveness and effectiveness of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Ensuring the implementation and ratification of the Convention and its protocols within this region has been highlighted by the Executive Body as a priority.

At its thirty-seventh session, the Working Group on Strategies and Review agreed on an action plan to involve EECCA countries in the work of the Convention. Later this Action Plan was revised in line with the recommendations of the “Saltsjöbaden III” workshop held in Gothenburg, Sweden, in March 2007. The Action Plan is aiming at:

- raising political profile of the Convention in the region;

- encouraging ratification of the Convention’s most recent protocols;

- increasing cooperation and exchange of information through expanding the modeling and monitoring activities;

- supporting the EECCA countries involvement in the activities of the Convention.

In line with the above-mentioned priorities, following projects and activities are now being implemented or have been already completed. >>>>


Information about levels of pollution in EECCA countries prepared MSC-E in 2019 in Russian




Chemical Coordinating Centre (CCC) is hosted by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU). The main tasks of the CCC are co-ordination and intercalibration of chemical air quality and precipitation measurements carried out on the basis of EMEP measurement programme. The measurement programme includes recommendations of methods to be employed in the countries in their monitoring, quality assurance and training (including field and laboratory intercomparisons), data validation and reporting as well as data storage. Besides the CCC leads the EMEP work in the field of atmospheric particulate matter.


The EMEP Centre on Emission Inventories and Projections (CEIP) is hosted by the Umweltbundesamt Vienna (UBA-V) Austria. The main task of the CEIP is to collect emissions and projections from Parties to the LRTAP Convention, and to prepare data sets as input for long-range transport models. The emission centre has also been assigned the task of reviewing the submitted emissions to assist the Parties improving the quality of national inventories.


The EMEP Centre on Integrated Assessment Modelling (CIAM) is hosted by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The CIAM prepares technical background material for the annual meetings of the Task Force on Integrated Assessment Modelling (TFIAM). The Task Force brings together information gathered from the Parties and from other Convention bodies on cost-effective emission control strategies. Its regular reports to the negotiating bodies of the Convention assist in the development of legal instruments (protocols).


The Meteorological Synthesizing Centre-East (MSC-E) of EMEP is located in Moscow, Russia. The main task of the centre is to model transboundary fluxes and source-receptor relationships of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants.



The Meteorological Sinthesizing Centre West (MSC-W) of EMEP is hosted by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (DNMI). The main task of the centre is to model transboundary fluxes and source-receptor relationships of acidifying and eutrophying air pollution, photochemical oxidants and particulate matter.





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