To the central content area

Lulin Background Station Seen by In ternational Community as Crucial in Monitoring Asian Air Quality

line sharePrint Content

The geographic location of the Lulin Atmospheric Background Station operated by the EPA is unique, as it enables the observation of cross-border transmission of pollutants. During autumn and winter, pollutants from China can impact Taiwan due to winds from the northeast, while in spring, high-level westerly winds carry pollutants from biomass burning in Southeast Asia, affecting Taiwan’s air quality. Lulin station has been continuously monitoring greenhouse gases and air pollutants for 16 years, since its establishment in 2006. It has also joined various international monitoring networks, accumulating valuable data and research results. This has greatly contributed to understanding international background air quality pollution trends and facilitating regional environmental monitoring cooperation. The station plays a crucial role as a significant site for observing changes in atmospheric composition and climate in the western Pacific region.

The Lulin Atmospheric Background Station has been invited to join the Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases (CCGG) network operated by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is also the only high-altitude background station inEast Asia among the eight stations in Asia. Additionally, the station is part of the Federated Aerosol Network (FAN), Solar Radiation Network (SolRad-Net), and AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) managed by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Moreover, it is involved in the Atmospheric Mercury Network (AMNet) under the US EPA and the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). The station actively participates in multiple international large-scale experiments and collaborates on long-term observations with Germany and Japan.

Lulin station is located at the boundary of Chiayi and Nantou counties, inside Yushan National Park. Situated at an altitude of 2862 meters in the free troposphere, it conducts long-term monitoring of greenhouse gases, radiation flux, atmospheric mercury, aerosols, and other air pollutants. According to the CCGG network, the data from this station has been referenced and published in approximately 60 internationally renowned academic journals. Among them, ten publications have appeared in prestigious journals such as Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), Science of the Total Environment (STOTEN), and Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). This not only demonstrates the international status and importance of Taiwan's background monitoring but also establishes the station as a crucial international platform for related scientific research.

Before 2006, there was no background monitoring data on greenhouse gases and air pollutants in the East Asian region. The establishment of Lulin station allows for the assessment of the impact of cross-border pollution transmission in East Asia. Monitoring data from 2006 to 2022 revealed that the summer greenhouse gas background values at Lulin station are consistent with those at the Mauna Loa background station in Hawaii (MLO). However, due to Taiwan's particular geographical location, Lulin station is more susceptible to foreign pollution influence. During spring, biomass burning in Southeast Asia contributes approximately 3.4 ppm of CO2 concentration and around 29.5 ppb of methane (CH4) concentration measured at Lulin station. Long-term data indicates an accelerating growth trend in greenhouse gas concentrations in Asia, highlighting the crucial role of Taiwan's Lulinstation as a long-term observer of regional greenhouse gases and air quality.

Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, June 2023
Ministry of Environment