Monitoring atmospheric composition & climate

During the transition towards fully operational Copernicus atmospheric services, the development of tools and the provision of results have to occur according to the needs and requirements of potential users.  In particular, products of MACC-II must be relevant not only from a scientific point of view but should be designed to be useful for policy makers in solving real-world air quality problems.

One important goal of POL in MACC-II is the continued interaction with policy users in Europe, which include policy makers and knowledge providers, in particular the EC and the EEA. Among the important tasks are:

  • to establish close links at both the EU and Member-State level to ensure that MACC-II suports as fully as possible the 2012/13 review and revision of the European Air Quality Directive;
  • to work in close connection with FAIRMODE and other initiatives promoting and supporting the coordinated use of air quality modelling for the assessment of air quality, especially also in the context of the European Air Quality Directive;
  • to discuss how future EU reporting requirements may best be supported by MACC-II and the subsequent operational Copernicus Service.

RTD tasks in POL have a clear focus on tools that are of interest for policy users.  POL will build on the acheivements of the O-POL sub-project in MACC.  However, it will not be simply a continuation of O-POL, but through the intensified contact with the European policy infrastructure will promote the policy-support tools that have become available during the MACC, as well as further developing these tools in MACC-II.

POL will provide information and tools to authorities, and to help in the designing of policy responses to prevent severe air pollution, with the final goal in mind to operationalize these tools.  It draws heavily on feedback from policy users regarding the tools being developed amd operationalozed, and regarding the results that are provided.  Support given by POL will aim at short-term policy responses to prevent air-pollution emergency situations and at long-term policy responses requiring the elaboration of international legilation and agreements.

The objectives of POL are to:

  • provide information on the origin of pollution sources for air-pollution events in the past and for predicted air-pollution episodes in the near future.  This insormation will be provided by region of origin, allowing authorities to determine which regions would have the largest potential to reduce the severity of the air-pollution event in question;
  • support the development of international agreements to reduce and control air pollution by detailed analyses of past episodes, investigating the origin of air pollution and by model calculations of future scenarios, taking into account climate change;
  • operationalize the tools to calculate source receptor relationships for the short term;
  • further develop the interactive web tool that facilitates the evaluation of different air quality policy options by national authorities.  The interactiveweb tool can be used to evaluate a series of green scenarios related to different energy and activitiy sectors;
  • provide information and data devloped in MACC-II and POL to periodic reviews by policy users in close coordination with the INT sub-project.  POL methods and products will be refined in accordance with the recommendations by policy users.

POL or one of the other sub-projects of MACC-II as appropriate will respond promtly to requests from policy makers for data and information on special events, but what is 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.

POL is structured into four work packages:

WP131 Improved source region allocation for forecasted air-pollution episodes for both short-term and long-term responses, extending out tools from the country-to-country concept of MACC towards a region-to-region concept;

WP132 Operationalization of source allocation calculation for forecasted air-pollution episodes, i.e. automated identification of main source regions in cases where air-pollution episodes are predicted;

WP133 Further development of the web-based toolbox for scenario analyses;

WP134 Interaction with the European environmental policy infrastructure.

Since air-quality modelling and policy measures continue to be mainlyregional in scale, POL maintains strong links to the regional sub-project cluster of MACC-II.  The information and tools for air-quality policy measures are linked to the regional short-term air-quality ensemble forecasts in ENS and to the long-term reanalyses in EVA.  POL will depend on the results from ENS and EVA to determine which episodes should be run in source-allocation mode.  In addition, POL will evaluate alternative innovation methods for the calculation of the origin of air pollution, such as the adjoint method developed in MACC and in this way it will profit from the developments of data assimilation techniques from EDA, including the work done in WP94 for the handling of special events.  Assessing the use made of MACC-II products and user requirements for potential additioanl or improved products are tasks of the INT sub-project discussed below, and POL will work with INT with regard to the requirements of the policy user sector.  The reports of WP141 of the INT sub-project will communicate information on product-use to the EU, in addition to communication that takes place through WP134 of POL.

A web portal, dedicated to policy-users, is being developed here.