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Current Hobart Port air monitoring data

​This page shows real-time (unvalidated) air quality and meteorological data from the Hobart Port air station, located on Princes Wharf in the CSIRO site. The station was established in early 2017 to monitor ambient concentrations of gasses principally from ships docked in the Hobart port area, and was chosen after preliminary air dispersion computer modelling was conducted.

The plot immediately below shows real-time data from the Hobart Port station for today. You may need to refresh this page in your browser to see the latest data. If network interruptions prevent data from being collected from the station, the plot will show the most recently available data.

  • The top panel shows unvalidated concentrations of sulphur dioxide (SO2) measured each 10-minutes. Concentrations are measured in parts per billion (ppb) by volume.
  • The lower panel shows meteorological data - wind speed and direction, and temperature. Wind direction data are given in degrees (north=0, east=90, etc.) but are divided by 10 to fit on the plot. Real-time air quality data for today for Hobart Port

The following plot shows the most recent week of data from the Hobart Port station.

  • The top panel shows unvalidated 10-minute ambient SO2 concentrations.
  • The second panel shows unvalidated hour-averaged and day-averaged SO2 concentrations.
  • The third panel shows these same hour-averaged and day-averaged SO2 data as in the second panel, but on a scale that includes horizontal lines showing the national air quality standards for hourly (200 ppb) and daily (80 ppb) SO2 levels. (These are the the NEPM standards - from the  'National Environmental Protection Measure' for Ambient Air Quality.)
  • The lowest panel shows meteorological data.

Most recent week of data from Hobart Port.
The real-time data presented above have not been quality controlled or validated. Validated data will be available later via the validated data-viewing page.

We thank CSIRO Marine and Atmosphere flagship for access to the site on their wharf.

Background Information:
The increasing number of cruise ships visiting the Port of Hobart in recent years has raised some concerns in the Hobart community about the level of impact of emissions from these ships. These concerns have become a topic of public enquiry to the EPA. The atmospheric emissions of greatest concern from cruise ships while at berth in Hobart Port are sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen.

As a first step to addressing these concerns the EPA has established a reference level monitoring station in the Hobart Port area to continuously measure and report ambient levels of sulphur dioxide in real-time to this website. As the graphs shown on this website demonstrate, the ambient levels of sulphur dioxide measured to date have been well below the relevant hour-averaged and day-averaged national air quality standards. The EPA is now in the process of planning the deployment of additional monitoring equipment at the Hobart Port Monitoring Station to also continuously monitor and report ambient levels of nitrogen oxides. It is expected that this equipment will be installed and be fully operational by the close of 2017.

Further information on sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen can can found via the links on our major air pollutants page.

Air dispersion modelling of emissions from cruise ships visiting the Hobart Port is also currently being undertaken by EPA to estimate the potential impacts of these emissions on nearby populated areas. This work has already been useful in identifying a suitable air quality monitoring site in the vicinity of the Port of Hobart. The final report on this modelling work is expected to be completed in late 2017.

It is the view of EPA Tasmania that legislative responsibility for ships’ air emissions, and enforcement of that legislation, remain with the Commonwealth. Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) sets limits on emissions of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen and Australia is a signatory to the MARPOL Convention. In accordance with the Commonwealth legislation which implements the MARPOL in Australia, the current limit for the sulphur content of fuel is 3.5 per cent. This cap will be reduced under the MARPOL to 0.5 per cent, effective from 1 January 2020.

As part of the emission reduction measures identified in the National Clean Air Agreement, the NSW Environment Protection Authority is leading a national study on how emissions from visiting ships in port can be reduced.

Enquiries specific to health-related concerns in relation to emissions from cruise ships should be directed to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Air Specialist
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 03 6165 4599 Fax: 03 6173 0254
Email: EnvironmentEnquiries@environment.tas.gov.au