Monitoring atmospheric composition & climate
 
 
Sustainability of Services

Ensuring the long-term strength and sustainability of Copernicus Operations is fundamental to the concept and objectives of MACC-II. Strength and sustainability will depend substantially on the long-term availability and quality of:

  • observing systems (space-based and in situ) and associated data management capacities;
  • data analysis and modelling capacities;
  • product dissemination capacities;
  • European integration and organisation of the capacities to provide the service elements;
  • internal short- medium-term research and development activities;
  • linkis with external medium- to long-term research and development activities.

The availability of high-quality, timely data from satellites depends on well-developed ground segments providing data processing, dissemination, archival and retrieval facilities.  Operational satellite missions take account of these requirements and availability of their data can be assumed.  Research satellite missions often provide such facilities but with varying coverage and without assured availability of NRT data.  MACC-II and the prospect of subsequent Copernicus Operations will provide a new justification for space agencies worldwide to provide timely data from such missions.  To acheive this, MACC-II  will exploit the efficient channels of communication already established for Numerical Weather Prediction and built upon in MACC.  MACC-II will continue MACC's liaison with ESA to ensure that its data requirements are reflected in ESA's Copernicus Space Component Data Access, and with EUMETSAT to ensure that MACC-II can derive maximum benefit from products provided either directly by EUMETSAT or by its distributed Satellitle Application Facilities (SAFs).  Several experts working on MACC or with strong links to it already participate in mission advisory groups for the relevant Sentinels and other contributing missions, and will continue to do so during MACC-II and beyond.  This provides additional reason for future satellitle data supply to be well matched to the needs of the Copernicus Atmosphere Service.

In situ data are essential to enable characterisation of the composition of the atmosphere, especially close to the surface.  It is only when in situ and satellite data are used together in data assimilation that the true potential of both can be fully exploited.  In situ data also have a vital role to play in independant validation and diagnosis of MACC-II's assimilation and forecast products.  Sufficient availability of in situ data depends on increased coordination and optimisation of data processing, and capacity building.  MACC-II will liaise as fully as possible with the in situ data coordination activities of the European Environment Agency (EEA), and more widely will act within WMO, GCOS, GEO and other relevant international frameworks to express its requirements for in situ data depends on increased coordination and optimisation of data processing, and capacity building.  MACC-II will draw predominantly on established capacities , especially under existing organisational mandates, to ensure operational capability and continuity.  MACC-II will liaise as fully as possible with the in situ data coordination activities of the European Environment Agency (EEA), and more widely will act within WMO, GCOS, GEO and othr relevant international frameworks to express its requirements for in situ data.  It will inform the EC of its need for specific in situ observations from systems that are candidates for financial support under Copernicus arrangments for funding observations that are complementary to those funded by existing European Union and national efforts.

Established national and inernational public-sector agencies in the MACC-II consortium together have the basic data management, analysis, modelling and dissemination capacities required for long-term sustainability of the atmospheric component of Copernicus Operations.  These agencies already have long-term experience of provision of reliable operational services, and have developed and operated the specific systems needed for Copernicus Operations in the course of their participation in the GEMS, PROMOTE and MACC projects.  They have, moreover, demonstrated their capacity and willingness to work together in service development and provision.

Scientific and technical development within MACC-II is essential to ensure the availability of resilient services in 2014 and 2015.  MACC-II's services must be adapted to the latest satellite observing systems that will come on stream over the coming three or four years, in part replacing systems that will reach or come near to the the endof their lifetimes over the period.  Other important developments within the period of MACC-II will be those realted to increased model resolution and interaction between modelling components, those involving model updates (both meteorological and chemical) that directly impact the quality of the products provided by the services, and those that otherwise address newly stated requirements for high resolution emission fluxes and special products related to major events of environmental importanace to Europe.

A concept of tiers of supporting R & D was developed in the Final Report of the Implementation Group for the Copernicus Atmosphere Service.  The Group identified three such tiers:

  • Tier-1: Core R&D involving a response time of less than a year that has to be done by partners operating the Atmosphere Service;
  • Tier-2: R&D involving a response time of about two years that would be comissioned by the Atmosphere Service on specific issues;
  • Tier-3: Longer-term R&D that would be carried out under national funding of FP calls, with the Atmosphere Service providing input to appropriate FP Work Programmes.

Viable arrangements for such supporting R&D must be established during the course of MACC-II to ensure that no gap in development capacity opens up when Copernicus Operations begins in 2014.

Contributing to climate change monitoring

The Copernicus Regulation foresees a service component on climate-change monitoring in addition to the services on atmosphere, land, ocean, emergency response and security for which service development projects are in place.

Although MACC-II will provide key data products on atmospheric composition that will contribute to climate-change monitoring, a comprehensive Copernicus service component in this area will also require multi-decadal analysis of the meteorological climate variables and long-term projections for both meteorological and composition variables.  The strong roots of MACC-II within the European Meteorological Infrastructure, together with its development and validation of composition modelling in the context of data assimilation and short-term forecasting, should facilitate the establishment of arrangements for a coordinated approach to provision of comprehensive atmospheric climate products within the service component provided by full Copernicus Operations.