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Atmospheric processes related to regional and global changes


Specific Objectives

Specific Objectives in 2002:

To conclude the project by integrating the research performed during 1998-2001 into a number of focused, policy relevant documents addressed from the JRC to the DG ENV;

Initiate a Data Quality System within the EU GHG Inventory System (formerly: the Reference System) in collaboration with the EEA and Member States
(including candidate countries);

To open new scientific avenues to prepare for ERA and FP6
- Implementation of inverse modelling techniques for emission and sink estimates of greenhouse gasses as an independent verification system for MS and EU GHG inventories;
- Initiate work on the emissions of CH4 and N20 from (agricultural) soils;
- Upgrading the Ispra Air Monitoring station to become an EMEP super station and to include climate change relevant parameters;
- Construct a new atmospheric chemistry laboratory to enable bench mark experiments for testing air pollution model testing;

To study the feasibility of participation in ERA networks of excellence and ERA integrated projects
- integrated project on climate change in the Mediterranean Area ?
- network on Carbon tracking ?
- network of EMEP super stations
- network related to smog chamber facilities in Europe;

To increase collaboration with GVM and other relevant units to realise the GLOBAL CHANGE thematic area.
Planned Deliverables

Deliverables 2002:

Specific deliverables to DGs:

Documents from the JRC to the DG ENV integrating research results of policy relevance
- Comparison of methodologies for CO2 sequestration measurements by forests in Europe (incl. work performed for DG ENV. Monitoring Mechanism);
- The role of particulate matter and ozone in the climate system and its potential relevance for future climate change policies. (Parallel and possible with an input to DG ENV's study on post Kyoto emission reduction targets);
- Particulate Matter in Europe: a compilation of physical and chemical characteristics over Europe. (Input to DG ENV's revision of the PM directive);
- Role of biogenic emissions on ozone and particulate matter formation, with a focus on the Mediterranean Area.

Organisation of a workshop "Harmonization of reporting of GHG emissions and sinks by Land Use Change and Forestry" for DG ENV's Monitoring Mechanism.

Contribute to IPCC Expert groups on LULUCF, on behalf of DG ENV.

As a result of research

Experimental data sets for process understanding and model validation
- MINATROC (SCA): interaction mineral dust and photo-oxidants;
- OSOA (SCA) : origin and formation of secondary aerosol.

Papers in the scientific literature.

Summary of 2001 Deliverables: 31/12/2001

- Definition of the European Reference System for GHG emissions and sinks extending work on C-sinks, within the framework of the European Climate Change Project;
- Carbon-sinks workshop with national sinks experts, in collaboration with COST E21
- Organisation of "A CHANGING ATMOSPHERE": the 8th European Symposium on the Physico-Chemical Behaviour of Air Pollutants, in collaboration with DG RTD (Torino);
- Organisation of "Harmonization within atmospheric dispersion modelling for regulatory purposes" (Belgirate);
- Delivery of two mobile trucks for atmospheric aerosol measurements, one dedicated to single particle measurements;
- Completion of ESCOMPTE: an international field campaign near Marseilles in which project members produced a complete aerosol dataset for model validation;
- Completion of EUPHORE smog-chamber experiments on the formation of particulate matter from organic gaseous precursors;
- 15 peer review papers published in 2001
- Contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) 3rd Scientific Assessment report.

Output Indicators and Impact

- Publications in the scientific literature;
- Reports from the JRC to DG ENV;
- Contributions/Presentations at DG ENV Working Groups / Council meetings;
- Workshops organised by JRC.
Summary of the project

Summary of the project:

The project is structured in two programmatic tasks:
- 1. PHAMA: study of the links between photo-oxidants, aerosols, and specific meteorological in the Mediterranean Area. Consequences for EU air pollution policies;
- 2. GHOGA: study of the role of the biosphere-atmosphere interaction in climate control and the role of reactive chemical species (e.g. ozone, aerosols) in global warming. Support to implementing the Kyoto Protocol.


The restructuring of IES has brought a more clear division between work related to air quality and that related to climate change. Accordingly, during
2002, the work of the project will shift from an urban-regional focus to a regional global focus.

The shift towards EU policy relevant activities and results continues.


The scientific basis for a multi-scale and multi-species air pollution abatement strategy is still missing. One aspect, namely the role of the biosphere as a source and sink of many of the atmospheric species of concern, is gaining importance.

On the global scale, uncertainties regarding the role of the biosphere as a sink of CO2 poses a major problem to close the carbon budget. Still, manipulation of this sink (vegetation in particular) is proposed as one of the means to implement the Kyoto Protocol. This will require a better understanding of carbon cycling and the setting up and validation of techniques for monitoring CO2 (and other) fluxes between the biosphere and the atmosphere.

On the global and regional scale, the importance of conventional air pollutants (such as ozone and particulate matter) in climate forcing is recognized as much as those of the long lived (e.g. Kyoto) greenhouse gasses (GHG). There is an increasing interest with EU policy makers to integrate air pollution and climate change policies.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Environment and Sustainability