Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Keeping a closer eye on Earth's atmosphere and oceans

With the necessary science and technology in place, a fully integrated 'Earth observation' (EO) system at the European level is now within our grasp. A number of recommendations have been made to drive the transition from the research to the operational phase.
Keeping a closer eye on Earth's atmosphere and oceans
Mankind has benefited greatly from the development of Earth observation science over the past century. For example, weather forecasts have become increasingly reliable for longer timescales.

Data from a wide variety of disciplines is collected at the surface, from the air and, increasingly, from space. The 'Harmonised coordination of the atmosphere, land and ocean integrated projects of the GMES backbone' (HALO) project received European funding to meet the challenge of putting this huge volume of data to work for us.

In fact, HALO sought to integrate the results from three separate EU-funded projects addressing land, the oceans and the atmosphere. These projects all belong to the 'Global monitoring for environment and security' (GMES) initiative to optimise EO in Europe.

Since the three systems are connected, it is necessary to share data, particularly the exchange of chemical species but also heat, momentum and radiation between the systems. Priorities were assigned through HALO, such as improving the validity of these so-called interfacial fluxes for aerosols, water and carbon dioxide.

Work was also done to derive common solutions for more efficient data formatting, transfer and storage. These and other recommendations are being implemented by the participating projects with the ultimate goal of evolving from the research phase to a fully operational system.

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