60s of the 20th century
Dangers that threaten by large-scale global or regional pollution of the environment, which could lead to irreversible changes in both terrestrial and ocean ecosystems or to global climate change, have become a matter of awareness.
70s of the 20th century
GEMS (Global Environment Monitoring System) was launched as part of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). This initiative led to an active response by the then CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), and in 1975 a technical project for participation of the CMEA member countries in the GEMS system was developed and approved. It was a so-called Eastern European Subsystem with a centre in Moscow, which envisaged the establishment of at least one regional station in each participating country.
80s of the 20th century
In the then Czechoslovakia the implementation of this task was entrusted to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. Given that none of the existing CHMI meteorological stations met the requirements for the location of the regional station, it was decided to solve this task by constructing a new station specialising exclusively in quality monitoring of the natural environment at the regional level. Particular attention was given to the selection of the observatory site. Of almost 20 potential locations, Košetice site was selected. After the processing of basic information on the area of interest, the first measurements of air quality and precipitation, and climatological observations commenced at the provisional location at the beginning of the 1980s.
An important milestone was the putting into operation the observatory in 1988. All measurements of meteorological parameters and air and precipitation quality that were undertaken by that time have been carried over there. The observatory has become a professional meteorological station and the spectrum of measurements has been expanding over 30 years, mainly following the needs and recommendations of international monitoring programmes.
The turn of the 80s and 90s of the 20th century
As an East European GEMS subsystem station, the observatory had been operating for less than three years. Following the political changes in the 1980s and early 1990s, the activities of CMEA were discontinued and the East European GEMS subsystem was also terminated. However, the observatory was already incorporated in other international programmes, which were more geographical than political in nature.
After 1991, a dominant role in the international contacts of the observatory was taken by activities of the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and the commitments resulting from the membership in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The focus of the observatory's work has shifted considerably towards monitoring and research of air quality at the regional level.
Under the auspices of CLRTAP, the Co-operative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-Range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) and the so-called ICP-IM integrated monitoring programme (International Cooperative Programme on Integrated Monitoring of Air Pollution Effects on Ecosystems) are carried out.
Air quality monitoring within AIM (Automated Air Quality Monitoring) was launched at OBK.
The professional meteorological station was completely automated.
After the Czech Republic having joined the EU, the Košetice observatory, thanks to its location and a long, homogeneous series of measurements, is also involved in the European monitoring and research projects. The EUSAAR (European Supersites for Atmospheric Aerosol Research) project allowed installation of the state-of-the-art aerosol monitoring equipment and integrated us into the prestigious network.
The EUSAAR project continues through the broader ACTRIS project (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research Infrastructure Network). The project ran from 2011 to 2015.
A memorandum of cooperation within the ACTRIS project was signed at the Košetice observatory between: CHMI, the Global Change Research Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, p. r. i. (GCRI), the Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the Czech Academy of Sciences, p. r. i. (ICPF) and Masaryk University.
The construction of the atmospheric mast of GCRI in the immediate vicinity of OBK is completed.
A proposal for the large research infrastructure ACTRIS — the Czech Republic's participation (ACTRIS-CZ) was submitted.
The ACTRIS project continues with the ACTRIS-2 succession project (2015–2019)
ACTRIS included into the ESFRI project roadmap
ACTRIS-CZ included into the roadmap of the large research infrastructures of the Czech Republic. At the same time, the financial support for the period 2016–2022 is allocated by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS) for the large research infrastructures
Complex reconstruction of the Košetice observatory building took place, improving significantly the conditions for users of the research infrastructure.
The ACTRIS-CZ consortium becomes part of the ACTRIS PPP (2017–2019) project aiming to prepare a necessary organizational framework for the establishment of the pan-European ACTRIS research infrastructure.