Research on three branches of activity

High-quality research is utilized to develop services to benefit our everyday life. Visible examples are improvement of weather forecasts, development of new expert and warning services as well as applications of the newest research results.

The meteorological and marine research programme does basic and applied research on meteorology, atmospheric science and physical oceanography. Research subjects include forecast models for different time frames, scientific applications and remote sensing observations linked to the research area as well as the effects of climate change and how to adapt to them.
The climate research programme does basic and applied research on the different components of the climate system. The research subjects are especially past, current and future climate as well as the composition of the atmosphere and its effects on climate change and air quality. Some of the employees of the programme work at the office in Kuopio.
The space and earth observation centre is responsible for the research of the polar regions and near space as well as developing technology related to the activity. The research subjects are especially arctic research and remote sensing, new observation methods and space. The Arctic Space Centre and Sodankylä office are a part of the Space and earth observation centre.

Science news

FMI's researchers publish about 300 peer-reviewed articles annually.

In Science News we publish current information about FMI's studies on the weather, the sea and the climate.

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A first step towards a better understanding of air chemistry in boreal forests

A first step towards a better understanding of air chemistry in boreal forests

FMI implements method that improves current understanding of air chemistry in boreal forests, which will help to improve predictions of global climate models in the future.

The instrument based on the Comparative Reactivity Method (CRM) was originally developed at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany. This new instrument has now been build and characterized in FMI´s laboratory. With the instrument long-term studies in the boreal forest will be conducted to investigate in detail what are the unknown chemical compounds in the air of boreal forests and what are their origins.

The instrument was tested in the vicinity of the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki. The test took place in February 2016. This first test showed that emissions from traffic dominated the air chemistry during that period.

The method allows measurements of the total hydroxyl radical (OH) reactivity. OH is the most important oxidant in the atmosphere. "OH reactivity, also called OH loss rate, is defined as the inverse of the OH lifetime, i.e. how long OH remains in the atmosphere before reacting with other compounds", explains researcher Arnaud Praplan.

Therefore, OH reactivity measurements reveal how much of reactive compounds are present in the air. A higher amount means a higher reactivity and a reduced OH lifetime. Studies found that total OH reactivity values in forests can be high, despite low pollution levels. However, the reactivity cannot be explained by the known compounds emitted by vegetation.

More information:

Arnaud Praplan,

Praplan, A. P.; Pfannerstill, E. Y.; Williams, J. & Hellén, H. OH reactivity of the urban air in Helsinki, Finland, during winter, Atmos. Environ., 2017, 169, 150 - 161, doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.09.013.

Science news archive

Contact information

Scientific Director Ari Laaksonen
tel. +358 539 5530

Meteorological and Marine Research Programme
Director Sami Niemelä
tel. +358 29 539 4172

Climate Research Programme
Director  Hannele Korhonen
tel. +358  29 539 2135

Space and Earth Observation Centre
Director Jouni Pulliainen
tel. +358 29 539 4701

FMI publications

FMI´s own publications series are:

  • FMI Contributions: high-quality peer-reviewed research results, mainly doctoral dissertations
  • FMI Reports: current research results mainly for customers and other stakeholders

All publications from 2016 onwards can be found on Helda.