Monitoring atmospheric composition & climate
 
 
More Details about the Project

MACC-II will provide continuity and refinement of the atmospheric services provided by MACC. Its continued provision of coherent atmospheric data and information, either directly or via value-adding downstream services, will be for the benefit of European citizens and will help meet global needs as a key European contribution to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and the encompassing Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). Its services will cover:

  • air quality;
  • climate forcing;
  • stratospheric ozone, UV radiation and solar-energy resources.

These Copernicus services will operate and be developed in a way complementary to the established range of meteorological and related services that are operated nationally and at European level by what is known collectively as the European Meteorological Infrastructure.  The latter services include most notably weather forecasting, but also include services more closely related to the Copernicus services, such as those provided to international aviation by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre's (VAACs).  The strong involvement of meteorological service providers in the consortium proposing MACC-II, which includes the two European operators of VAACs, will ensure that the Copernicus services can benefit most fully from ready access to the meteorological data and dataprocessing infrastructure essential for their operation, and that the Copernicus services are implemented in a way that supports the established services in a manner consistent with the European Union's principles of complementarity and subsidiarity.

MACC-II has the overall function objective of delivering reliable operational products and information services that support research, European environmental policy and the ongoing development of user-specific downstream services.  It will prepare for the transition to long-term sustainable operation as the fully fledged Copernicus Atmosphere Service from the second half of 2014 onwards.  Consistent with the MACC's pre-existing capabilities and service lines, requirements expressed in the Call, and requirements determined through user consultation, MACC-II will supply:

  • Monitoring of the global distributions of greenhouse gases, reactive gases and aerosols through assimilations of satellite and in situ observations, using NRT, delayed-mode and reanalysis;
  • Twice-daily forecasts of the global distributions of reactive gases and aerosols for several days ahead;
  • Specific stratospheric ozone products, based both on the integrated MACC-II system and on systems that are operated to extend the long-term records built up in PROMOTE and then MACC;
  • Boundary values for regional modelling of troposheric and stratospheric chemistry, and local and urban modelling for air quality;
  • Analyses and forecasts for the European domain based on an ensemble approach using multiple regional air-quality models;
  • Annual assessments and source attribution for the main atmospheric pollutants over Europe;
  • Tools that may be applied to past cases or in NRT to assess actions to control pollution events;
  • Global fire analyses and estimates of emissions from fires for use in the global and European regional monitoring and forecasting sytems;
  • Surface fluxes of carbon dioxide, methane and aerosols produced using inverse methods;
  • Global datasets for emissions from sources other than fires, to be updated based on new statistics or results from flux inversion;
  • Higher-resolution emission datasets for aerosols and reactive gasses over Europe;
  • Satellite data retrievals as needed to complement work carried out under space-agency auspices, including that from the EUMETSAT SAFs and ESA activities such as its Climate Change Initiative (CCI);
  • Estimates of direct and indirect claimate forcing from aerosols;
  • Core data services supporting solar power generation and monitoring and prediction of UV radiation.

In addition, MACC-II will respond promtly when needed to supply specific products related to major events involving atmospheric constituents such as volcanic ash and pollutants from major fires, especially in cases of particular importance to the European Union.  What will be able to be offered will depend on the specific nature of each event and on how far MACC-II's development activities have progressed by the time that the event occurs.  As such events in general involve unusual and uncertain levels of emissions, it is essential for MACC-II to develop its variational global and regional analysis methods so that they are able to estimate emissions as well as atmospheric distributions.  Capabilities could be invoked in special configurations of its NRT systems that would be operated in addition to its routine operational runs.  The response would be on a resonable efforts basis and complementary to established national arrangements for emergency response and mandated international services such as provided by the VAACs, and could include an illustrative educational element.  During MACC-II, and as part of preperations for subsequent Copernicus Operations, consideration could be given in discussion with the European Commission as to what might be agreed in terms of more-formal support for emergency response, and the supplementary costs that this would incur.

MACC-II's services will be freely and openly available to downstream-service providers and other users throughout Europe.  MACC-II and its downstream service sector will between them enable European citizens at home and abroad to benefit from improved warning, advisory and general information services and from improved formulations and implementation of regulatory policy.  MACC-II, together with its scientific-user sector, will also help to improve the provision of science based information for policy-makers and for decision-making at all levels.  The most significant economic benefit by far identified in the ESA-sponsored Socio-Economic Benefits Analysis of GMES report published in July 2006 was the long-term benefit from international policy on climate change.  Long-term benefit from air quality information ranked second among all Copernicus benefits in terms of present value.  Immediate benefits can be acheived through efficiency gains in relation to current policies.  The estimated benefits substantially outweigh the costs of developing and operating the proposed services.