The Italian Climate Observatory "Ottavio Vittori" at Mount Cimone (ICO-OV) is located on the highest peak of the Northern Apennines that mark the border line of two different climate regions: the continental Europe (northwards) and the Mediterranean Basin (southwards).
The observations of atmospheric composition conducted at the ICO-OV, provide useful information for evaluating the role of regional and long-range transport processes in modifying the tropospheric background conditions of the Mediterranean basin/Southern Europe. Due to the completely free horizon, high altitude and great distance from major pollution sources, ICO-OV represents a strategic platform to study the chemical-physical characteristics and climatology of the free troposphere in the South Europe and North Mediterranean basin. Moreover, this long-term monitoring activity helps in quantifying the existing trend of climate-altering substances and atmospheric pollutants.
Continuous monitoring of climate-altering compounds (trace gases and aerosol), solar radiation as well as meteorological parameters are carried out since 1996 by ISAC-CNR (Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Reaserach Council). Measurements of atmospheric concentration of a wide range of halogenated VOCs started in 2003 by University of Urbino, Italy, with the installation of a commercial ADS-GC-MS system (Adsorption-Desorption System coupled with Gas-Chromatograph and a Mass Spectrometer analyzer), fully automated for continuous operation.
The ICO-OV is classified as a global station by the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) program by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).