Last month, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched its brand-new national air quality forecast to provide greater information to the public regarding expected air quality in Ireland. The developed forecast system is based on VITO’s ATMOSYS air quality modelling technology and was realised together with local partners under the EU LIFE Emerald project.

The forecast provides maps, which are displayed on the EPA’s public information website,, that show the predicted daily air quality for up to three days -"Today", “Tomorrow” and the “Day after Tomorrow”.

Real-time and annual air quality maps

In the coming year, ATMOSYS technology will also be used to deliver near-real-time (March 2024) and high-resolution annual air quality maps for the entire country (June 2024).

Important tool for the air quality policy

This is a proud moment for Lisa Blyth (Business Relations contact at VITO for ATMOSYS), an Irish native who has worked closely with the EPA in getting this project of the ground.  “Generally, the air quality in Ireland is good. However, there are local hotspots, mainly due to solid fuel burning (PM2.5) for household heating and traffic emissions (NO2).  As part of a greater programme to improve their understanding of these local hotspots, the EPA are strengthening their air quality modelling capabilities.  The resulting maps are also being used as key awareness tools to inform Irish citizens how their behaviour impacts their local air quality.”

International recognition

Ireland is not the only country to avail of VITO’s ATMOSYS modelling technology. Lisa Blyth: “The air quality modelling teams in Belgium, Slovakia, Croatia and Hungary also benefit from these models and together with the Irish EPA they form the ATMOSYS community.”

Earlier this year, experts from the teams met to exchange experiences and suggestions for improvements.  As a result, VITO and the Croatian experts are looking to learn from the EMERALD project, so they can take the final step in ensuring that the modelled information can be used for public awareness and reporting on air quality. A nice example of how international co-operation is beneficial for all involved parties…


The LIFE EMERALD Project (LIFE19 GIE/IE/001101) is funded under the EU LIFE Programme.