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What We Monitor Print E-mail
Meteorological Conditions

The weather conditions monitored at our continuous stations locations can include some or all of the following parameters:

  • Wind speed (WS) at 10 metres
  • Wind direction (WD) at 10 metres
  • Temperature
  • Relative Humidity
  • Barometric Pressure, and Rainfall.


Ground-Level Ozone

Reactive hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen combine in the presence of sunlight to form ozone (O3), which is a bluish gas, whose pungent odour can be smelled only at very high concentrations. In the stratosphere ozone prevents most of the sun’s harmful UV-B radiation from reaching the earth’s surface, but at ground level, ozone is a major component of smog. Natural processes can also greatly influence ground-level ozone concentrations.

Hydrogen Sulphide

Hydrogen sulphide is a colourless gas with a rotten egg odour. Its presence in natural gas makes the gas "sour." Some sources of hydrogen sulphide include:

  • natural gas processing plants,
  • petroleum refining, and
  • animal feedlots.
Nitrogen Oxides

Nitrogen oxides are produced during the burning of natural gas, coal, oil and gasoline. Nitrogen oxides are commonly found at higher concentrations in urban locations because of vehicle exhaust emissions. However, they are also detectable in rural areas as a result of emissions from:

  • bacterial processes,
  • lightning,
  • forest fires,
  • power plants,
  • oil and gas processing facilities, and
  • other industrial sources.
Particulate Matter (PM2.5)

Respirable particulates, or PM2.5, are particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter. They are small enough to penetrate into the lungs. Respirable particulates originate in the atmosphere because of condensation and combustion from sources such as:

  • soil dust,
  • road dust,
  • agricultural dust (e.g., harvest),
  • smoke from forest fires and recreational wood burning,
  • vehicle exhaust emissions, and
  • industrial emissions.
  • vehicle exhaust emissions,
  • industrial emissions, and
  • wood burning.
Sulphur Dioxide

Sulphur dioxide is a colourless gas with an irritating odour and taste. Major sources of sulphur dioxide are:

  • natural gas processing plants,
  • oil sands plants,
  • petroleum refineries, and
  • coal-powered electric power generation facilities.
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