EU project provides state-of-the-art atmosphere monitoring service

May 22, 2014
EU project provides state-of-the-art atmosphere monitoring service

From air quality to solar radiation, information on our atmosphere is of crucial importance to us all. In order to make the right decisions for our current and future quality of life, European decision makers, businesses and citizens need reliable and up-to-date information on exactly what is going on in our atmosphere now and what to expect in the future.

MACC-II (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate - Interim Implementation), an EU-funded project, combines state-of-the-art atmospheric modelling on global and European scale with Earth observation data to provide high quality environmental information services. It covers European air quality, global atmospheric composition, climate forcing, the ozone layer and UV radiation, and solar energy.

MACC-II is the third in a series of projects funded by the European Commission and the European Space Agency with the aim of establishing the atmospheric service of the European Earth observation programme Copernicus.

The MACC-II project is now in its final few months and the Copernicus Atmosphere monitoring service is in pre-operational mode, providing continuous data and information on atmospheric composition. The service details the current situation, forecasts the situation a few days ahead, and analyses consistently retrospective data records for recent years.

MACC-II combines satellite and in situ observations with advanced numerical models to develop products such as five-day forecasts of global and four-day forecasts of European air quality.

During the wildfires in south-east Europe in August 2012, for example, MACC-II used a real-time wildfire detection system based on satellite observations to estimate the amount of smoke particles released into the atmosphere. This information was then used in a forecasting model to predict the extent of the smoke plume for the next few days.

MACC-II also provides the industry, the electricity sector, governments, and renewable energy organisations and institutions with suitable and accurate information of the resources at the Earth's surface.

Furthermore, it supports studies of pollution events and possible responses to mitigate their effects, providing annual assessments of , and monitoring greenhouse gases and their sources and sinks at the Earth's surface.

Led by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the project involves 36 partners from 13 countries. It is thought to be one of the few projects of its kind worldwide.

Users from most countries in the world already access MACC-II products, which are freely available at http://atmosphere.copernicus.eu. MACC-II will run until July 2014, when the operational phase of Copernicus is expected to start.

Explore further: Video: Forecasting desert storms to empower solar panels

More information: www.gmes-atmosphere.eu/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Video: Forecasting desert storms to empower solar panels

May 09, 2014

Solar energy is ever more becoming an important source of renewable power generation. A serious problem for the productivity of solar power plants is desert dust: it obscures the sun and makes the mirrors dirty. To prevent ...

Smoke from Canada Observed in Europe

Jul 12, 2013

This summer, Canada is experiencing unusually extensive wildfires. This week alone, 341 new forest fires have consumed a total area of 616,000 hectares. The smoke clouds produced by the fires in Canada have ...

Monitoring air quality takes next step

Mar 31, 2014

With air pollution linked to millions of deaths around the world, it has never been more important to monitor the air we breathe. Today marks a significant step forward as a deal is secured to build a crucial ...

When air quality governs traffic management

Mar 21, 2014

Poor air quality costs Europe more than €700 million per year, in health expenditures and loss of economic performance, according to official EU sources. To tackle such major issue, the EU-funded MACC-II ...

Recommended for you

NASA sees Genevieve squeezed between 3 tropical systems

5 hours ago

The resurrected Tropical Depression Genevieve appears squeezed between three other developing areas of low pressure. Satellite data from NOAA and NASA continue to show a lot of tropical activity in the Eastern ...

User comments : 0