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Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate -III

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MACC-III (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate -III)

Reporting period: 2014-08-01 to 2015-08-31

Some of today’s most important environmental concerns relate to the composition of the atmosphere. The increasing concentration of the greenhouse gases and the cooling effect of aerosol are prominent drivers of a changing climate, but the extent of their impact is often still uncertain.

At the Earth’s surface, aerosols, ozone and other reactive gases such as nitrogen dioxide determine the quality of the air around us, affecting human health and life expectancy, the health of ecosystems and the fabric of the built environment. Ozone distributions in the stratosphere influence the amount of ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface. Dust, sand, smoke and volcanic aerosols affect the safe operation of transport systems and the availability of power from solar generation, the formation of clouds and rainfall, and the remote sensing by satellite of land, ocean and atmosphere.

To address these environmental concerns there is a need for data and processed information.

MACC-III (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate – Phase III) was the last interim stage in the development of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). Its overall institutional objective was to function as the bridge between the series of developmental precursor projects - GEMS, PROMOTE, MACC and MACC-II - and the operational Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) for 2015-2020, the period covered by the European Union’s multi-annual financial framework.

MACC-III provided continuity and refinement of the atmospheric services provided by the predecessor projects. Its continued provision of coherent atmospheric data and information, either directly or via value-adding downstream services, are for the benefit of European citizens and helps 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 covered:
• regional air quality and global transport of atmospheric pollutants;
• climate forcings;
• stratospheric ozone and UV radiation;
• solar-energy resources;
• emissions and surface fluxes.
Consistent with the pre-existing capabilities and service lines developed as part of the series of precursor projects, requirements expressed in the H2020 Call, and requirements determined through user consultation, MACC-III supplied:

• monitoring of the global distributions of greenhouse gases, reactive gases and aerosols through assimilation of satellite and in situ observations, using NRT, delayed-mode and reanalysis production systems;
• 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-III system and on systems that are operated to extend the long-term records built up in PROMOTE and then MACC/MACC-II;
• boundary values for regional modelling of tropospheric 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 systems;
• 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 gases 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 climate forcing from aerosols;
• core data services supporting solar power generation and monitoring and prediction of UV radiation.

In addition, MACC-III was able to respond promptly 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.
MACC-III outcomes directly flow into the operational Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

MACC-III’s services are freely and openly available to downstream-service providers and other users throughout Europe. MACC-III 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 formulation and implementation of regulatory policy. MACC-III, together with its scientific-user sector, also helps 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 achieved through efficiency gains in relation to current policies. The estimated benefits substantially outweigh the costs of developing and operating the proposed services.
European emissions of CO2 for 2009 estimated by MACC-III
Testimonials from MACC-III Advisory Board Members on the project's (and precursors' achievements)
Snapshots of the different websites supporting NRT validation of MACC-III services
"""Score Card"" evaluating the performance change of the new MACC-III global system"