Air quality and the deposition of air pollutants is determined by emissions to air from anthropogenic (e.g. combustion processes) as well as natural and biogenic (e.g. wind blown dust) sources.

Particularly the lack of quantitative knowledge about the importance of natural and biogenic emissions has been of significant concern in the formulation of air quality directives (e.g. 96/22/EC, 99/30/EC, 2003/03/EC) and emission reduction plans (2001/80/EC) defined by the European Commission.

Anthropogenic atmospheric emissions have been and are going to be further reduced over Europe, hence it is essential to provide reliable estimates of the contribution of natural and biogenic emission sources to determine the lower boundary of air quality targets .

The FP6 research project NATAIR was launched to improve the accuracy of the calculation methods from natural and biogenic emissions and to assess their impact on air pollutant concentration levels and deposition loads in Europe.