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Ongoing projects

Project title: Sand and Dust Strom Early Warning System in the Magreb Region (SDS-Africa)
Description: The main goal of this complementary project to the SDS WS for Europe, Africa and Middle East is to establish a ground-based network of sun photometers in selected sites of Northern Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunis and Egypt) for watching dust storms in near real time. This network over the Sahara will be also used for near real time satellite-based sensor validation, dust modelling verification and for a characterization of the Saharan Air Layer. This project constitutes a very valuable contribution to the Aerosol WMO Global Atmospheric Watch Program and to the WMO Sand and Dust Strom Warning Advisory and Assessment System Regional Center for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe. The three new stations are being incorporated into the AERONET (Aerosol Robotic Network; http://aeronet.gsfc.nasa.gov), PHOTONS (http://www-loa.univ-lille1.fr/photons/) and RIMA (Red Ibérica de Medida Fotométrica de Aerosoles) networks. These new stations will complement the existing stations in Northern Africa (Tamanrasset-Algeria and Canary Islands) managed by AEMET.
Tamanrasset station (Algeria)
El Cairo Station (Egypt)
Financial entity: AECID (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo)
Funding budget: 184,000 €
Contract number: S/N
Length: since 01/09/2007
Number of involved institutions: AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center), the World Meteorological Organization (Atmospheric Research and Environment Program), the Egyptian
Meteorological Authority (EMA; Egypt), the Office National de la Météorologie (ONM; Algeria), the Direction de la Météorologie Nationale (DMN; Morocco), and the Institut National de la Meteorologie (INM; Tunisia)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Emilio Cuevas

Project title: Global Atmospheric Watch in the Magreb-Sahara Region (GAW-Sahara)
Description: The main goal of the GAW-Sahara project is to obtain accurate and quality assured total column ozone and spectral UV over the Sahara within the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) programme. The projects provides funds to set up a double Brewer spectrophotometer at the Tamanrasset Meteorological Regional Center and a NILU multifilter radiometer at the high-altitude Assekrem GAW station. As an operational Dobson spectrophotometer is at Tamanrasset, this station would be one of the few sites in the world where a permanent and long-term intercomparison between the Dobson, the Brewer and the present and future satellite-based sensors could be performed on a routine basis. This initiative is strongly recommended by the WMO Ozone Scientific Advisory Group and will be a unique contribution to the total ozone global network Quality Assurance. On the other hand the installation of a NILU multifilter radiometer at Assekrem station will allow obtaining UV radiation, Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) and also deriving total column ozone at a mountain station in the middle of the Sahara. The Brewer at Tamanrasset and the NILU at Assekrem will also fill a big gap existing nowadays of spectral UV and Umkehr observations in this region. Routine validation of new satellite-based sensors will be one of the main goals of these new measurement programs. This project will also finance a short mission of the Brewer spectrophotometers from Morocco in order to participate in the ozone and UV intercomparisons for Brewer spectrophotometers organized by the Regional Brewer Calibration Center for RA-VIEurope (RBCC-E).
Financial entity: AECID (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo)
Funding budget: 340,000 €
Contract number: S/N
Length: since 01/09/2007
Number of involved institutions: AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center), the World Meteorological Organization (Atmospheric Research and Environment Program), and the Office National de la Météorologie (ONM; Algeria).
Principal Investigator: Alberto Redondas


Project title: Core requirements to support forecast of meningitis (MACC Project)

Description: Monitoring Atmospheric Composition & Climate (MACC) is the current pre-operational atmospheric service of the European GMES programme. MACC is a Collaborative Project (2009-2011) funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.

It is coordinated by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts and operated by a 45-member consortium. MACC provides data records on atmospheric composition for recent years, data for monitoring present conditions and forecasts of the distribution of key constituents for a few days ahead. MACC combines state-of-the-art atmospheric modelling with Earth observation data to provide information services covering European Air Quality, Global Atmospheric Composition, Climate, and UV and Solar Energy. O-INTERFACE 3 (O-INT_3) is a service chain analysis in support to health community.  It is one of the components of the OUTREACH cluster, which aims to maximize the benefit that MACC brings to the users of the atmospheric services offered by GMES. The Working Package O-INT_3.1 “Core requirements to support forecast of meningitis”, leaded by the Meteorological State Agency of Spain (AEMET), in joint cooperation with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) within the Sand and Dust Storm (SDS) Warning Advisory and Assessment System (WAS) Regional Center for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe, has as a first goal the implementation of an operational service for dust forecast - initially using the model BSC-DREAM8b - and near real time monitoring for the Sahel region inside MACC. Large dust plumes from the southern Sahara and the Bodele depression are thought be linked to meningitis outbreaks in the Sahel region (the “Meningitis Belt”). This belt is an endemic area for meningococcal meningitis (MCM). Previous studies have analyzed the relationship between meningitis and environmental parameters obtained by satellite-based sensors and ground meteorological stations. The combined information from ground and satellite based observations and meteorological/dust models will improve the studies conducted to investigate the link between meningitis and environmental factors over the Sahara and the Sahel regions.



Financial entity: EC FPVII (ECMWF)

Funding budget: 50,000 €

Contract number: 218793

Length: from 01/06/2009 to 31/12/2011

Number of involved institutions: AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS; Unfunded contribution to MACC)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Emilio Cuevas


Project title: CEOS Intercalibration of ground based spectrometers and Lidars
Description: Ground-based instruments (Dobson and Brewer) as well as satellite ozone retrievals present four major know issues not fully understood: (1) seasonal differences between Dobson and Brewer, (2) straylight in single monocromators brewers, (3) algorithm differences and (4) ozone cross section effects. Dobson and Brewer comparisons show a seasonal pattern with largest differences in late autumn and winter (high solar zenith angle). This difference is partially explained by the different sensitivity of the Brewer and Dobson algorithms to the temperature of the ozone layer. During the SAUNA campaigns the single Brewers exhibited striking column dependences at high SZA. This behavior is due in part to instrumental stray-light and calibration issues of the single monochromator instruments. As opposed to satellites which rely on ozone profile and temperature climatologies in their inversions, ground-based instrumentations use a fixed effective ozone altitude and temperature in their algorithms. This difference in implementation leads to differences between ground-based and satellites and also between ground-based time-series themselves. A usefull fix for the satellite community would be to assess the implementation of latitude dependent climatology in the ground-based algorithms. Another issue on the satellite validation is the use of different ozone cross sections in the retrieval algorithms. This problem is outside the scope of the project, but the implementation of changes on the ground-based algorithms mentioned above requires a reevaluation of the calibration of the instrument. This means that the calibration history has to be carefully documented and raw data files must be stored for further reanalysis. The issues described above can readily be improved by performing calibration from a well characterized double monochromator instrument after operating the instruments side-by-side for periods of 2 weeks over a large range of solar zenith angles and varying ozone column amounts. A number of field campaigns will be conducted in the 2008-2012 time frame where Dobson and Brewer spectrophotometers will be intercompared and calibrated using absolute calibration after the Langley Method to establish standards, while the transfer of the resulting calibration level into the network is done by regular intercomparisons. Through participation of FMI to some of the intercalibration campaigns, the calibration level will be delivered to the key Nordic Brewers. As regards the participation of the Regional Brewer Calibration Center for Europe (RBCC-E), selected Brewer network instruments from Europe and North-Africa will be operated in parallel to the European reference instrument. Such campaigns are planned in Spain, Switzerland and Algeria/Egypt. The European standard Dobson will be operated at Izana along the European standard double Brewer.

Financial entity:
ESA (through the Finnish Meteorological Institute)
Funding budget: 105,600 € (AEMET)
Contract number: sub-contract to ESA Contract n° 22202/09/I-EC
Length: from 01/01/2010 to 31/03/2012
Number of involved institutions: Regarding Brewer spectrophotometers community, AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center through the Regional Brewer calibration Center for Europe), and the Finnish meteorological institute-Arctic Research Centre (FMI-ARC).
Principal Investigator: Alberto Redondas


Project title: Study of isotopic composition of the precipitation and water vapor in the atmosphere over the Canary Islands for the characterization of local, regional and global processes involved in climate change over the subtropical Region (ECOMISAAC)

Description: The main goal of this project is the isotopic characterization of water from snow, rain and fog sampled at different altitudes of the Tenerife Island.

Financial entity: Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información (Gobierno de Canarias)

Funding budget: 25,953 €

Contract number: SolSubC200801000260

Length: from 22/06/2009 to 22/06/2012

Number of involved institutions: La Laguna University (ULL), and AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center).

Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan Carlos Guerra (University of La laguna)



Project title: Formation and transport of atmospheric aerosol in a regional scale in Western Andalusia, Spain, (AER-REG)

Description: The objective of this project is to investigate the mechanisms by which secondary atmospheric aerosols are formed and transported in the regional scale in Huelva (a province of Spain located in Andalusia region). Previous studies in this region showed that some secondary aerosols, such as sulphate, ammonium and nitrate, and organic matter, exhibits a high background in the region, with similar levels in the rural, industrial and urban areas. These high background concentrations are related to the high degree of industrialization in the region and to some favourable conditions related to regional meteorology. The specific objective of the project is to investigate the chemical pathways by which the secondary aerosol are formed and the regional meteorological processes that result in the regional dispersion and transport of those secondary aerosols and their precursors. The project is developed in tow steps. In the first one, a set of field measurements campaigns are performed to collect experimental data of aerosol composition during meteorological scenarios typical of the summer and winter seasons. In the second step, the formation and regional transport of aerosols is modelled at a high resolution by using CAMx.

Financial entity: Departament of Enterprise and Science, Goberment of Andalusia.

Funding budget: 155,000€

Contract number: P07-RNM-3125.

Length: 01-Jan-2008 to 31-Jan-2012).

Number of involved institutions: University of Huelva, CSIC (Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research), NOAA (Air Resources Laboratories), CEAM (Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterraneo), AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center).

Principal investigator: Dr. Sergio Rodríguez



Project title: Equipo de Investigación Multidisciplinar sobre Cambios Climáticos Graduales y Abruptos y sus Efectos Medioambientales (GRACCIE)

Description: This is a large multidisciplinary research project whose objective is to promote the collaboration between research groups expertise in different areas related with the objective of understanding, analyzing and predicting climate change and its impacts, with emphasis on abrupt changes and extreme events. Interactions between climate change, ecosystems and greenhouse gases budgets and changes in extreme hydrological events in Europe, advanced climate and earth system modelling, climate impacts and public perception, links between climate and global water security will be addressed in line with results of the 4th IPCC assessment report. Adaptation to climate change and its impacts in Europe and Africa, and actions supporting the 'Bali Roadmap' and related post-2012 climate policy initiatives will receive particular attention. Other topics such us health effects of climate change, climate / meteorological related hazards, are also investigated.

Financial entity: Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain. CONSOLIDER call.

Funding budget: 5,413,000 €

Contract number: CSD2007-00067. CONSOLIDER.

Length: 01-Jan-2008 to 31-Dec-2012.

Number of involved institutions: CSIC Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas y Ambientales de Barcelona “Josep Pascual Vila”. Resto de centros que participan: Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología (CSIC), Centre d´Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CSIC), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas, Fundació Bosch i Gimpera (Universidad de Barcelona), Fundación Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo, Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (CSIC- UGR), Instituto de Ciencias de la Tierra 'Jaume Almera' (CSIC), Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), AEMET - Izaña Atmospheric Research Centre, Parc Científic de Barcelona, The JRC Institute for Environment and Sustainability (Italia), Unite Mixte de Recherche CEA-CNRS, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Universidad de A Coruña, Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Universidad de Alicante, Universidad de Barcelona, Universidad de Berna, Universidad de Cádiz, Universidad de Cantabria, Universidad de Granada, Universidad de Huelva, Universidad de Oviedo, Universidad de Salamanca, Universidad de Vigo, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña.

Principal investigator: Dr.J. O. Grimalt

Project title: Spanish network for environmental measurements with DMA (REDMAAS)

Description: The purpose of this project is to prompt the collaboration and interrelationship between the few Spanish groups that works with Differential Mobility Analyzers (DMA) for performing measurements of size distributions of fine and ultrafine particles within the context of air quality and atmospheric science studies. Some of the tasks and questions that are covered by the project are: annual instruments inter-comparisons, quantification of looses within the instruments and in sampling inlets and creation of a data base.

Financial entity: Ministry of Science and Innovation of Spain.

Funding budget: 2010 (24000€), 2011 (submitted).

Contract number: CGL2009-07128-E/CLI.

Length. Phase 1 (01-Jan-2010 to 31-Dec-2010), Phase 2 (01-Jan-2011 to 31-Dec-2011, submitted).

Number of involved institutions: CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas), AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center), University of Huelva, CSIC (Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research), University of A Coruña and INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial).

Principal investigator: Dr. Francisco J. Gómez Moreno



Project title: Comprehensive assessment of the impact of particle emissions by automobiles on air quality (EPAU)

Description: The goal is to implement a methodology for assessing the impact of particle emissions by automobiles on the air quality. It is aimed to develop a methodology for assessing the impact of such automobiles emissions on the concentrations of the particle number, black carbon, PM1, PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations. The methods should allow assessing the influence of fresh and aged emissions on the size, composition and concentrations of particles in the urban air.

Financial entity: Ministry of Environment of Spain.

Funding budget: 201k€

Contract number: B026/2007/3-10.1

Length: 01-Jan-2007 to 30-Jun-2008.

Number of involved institutions: AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center), University of Huelva and CSIC (Institue of Earth Science Jaume Almera)

Principle investigator: Dr. S. Rodriguez and Dr. M.M. Viana

Project title: MONET

Description: The objective is to implement a network for the study of long-term trends of the continental background in Africa and the intercontinental background of persistent organic pollutants as resulting from long-range transport of contaminants from European, South Asian, and other potential source regions, as well as by watching supposedly pristine regions, i.e. the Southern Ocean and Antarctica is designed.

Financial entity: Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention

Funding budget:

Contract number:

Length: 01-Jan-2010 to undermited

Number of involved institutions: Masaryk University, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Central and Eastern European Centre for Persistent Organic Pollutants, eAcademy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center) and other 9 institutions.

Principal investigator: Dr. G. Lammel



Project title: Multi-platform remote sensing of isotopologues for investigating the cycle of atmospheric water (MUSICA)

Description: MUSICA aims to understand the atmospheric water cycle and its interplay with climate change applying unique long-term high quality and global remote sensing observations of tropospheric stable water vapour isotopologues. It is well established that water in its various forms plays a dominant role in nearly all aspects of the Earth’s climate system. Understanding the full cycle of evaporation, cloud formation, and precipitation is of highest scientific priority for predicting climate change.
The ratio of the isotopologues (e.g. HD16O/H216O) is affected by evaporation, condensation, and cloud processes, and offers a unique opportunity for investigating how water moves through the troposphere. Incorporating isotopologues in atmospheric general circulation models (AGCM) and comparing the isotopologue simulations to observations has the potential to test the models’ ability of reproducing the global atmospheric water cycle and its interplay with climate change. So far this research field has not been explored due to the lack of consistent, long-term, high-quality, and area-wide observational data. MUSICA will for the first time combine long-term ground- and space-based remote sensing measurements in a consistent manner, and will generate novel tropospheric HD16O/H216O data, taking benefit from both the high and well documented quality of the ground-based observations and the wide geographical coverage of the space-based observations. This unique observational data set will allow a new dimension of water cycle research.
MUSICA will collaborate with the Stable Water Isotope Intercomparison Group (SWING) in order to improve current state-of-the-art water isotope AGCMs. MUSICA will investigate and improve the understanding of tropospheric water vapour sources and transport pathways (ocean to continents, surface to upper troposphere, etc.), and empirically assess how well climate feedbacks are captured by current climate models and thereby it will constrain a major uncertainty of climate projections.

Financial entity: European Reasearch Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC

Funding budget: 1.5M €

Contract number: Grant agreement nº 256961

Length: 01/02/2011-31/01/2016

Number of involved institutions: Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center).

Principal investigator: Dr. Matthias Schneider



Project title: Towards a Near Operational Validation of IASI level 2 trace gas products (NOVIA)

Description: Earth observation data sets are fundamental for investigating the processes driving climate change and thus for supporting decisions on climate change mitigation strategies. Atmospheric remote sounding from space is an essential component of this observational strategy, since it allows for a global coverage. However, for a correct scientific interpretation of these observational records a continuous documentation of their quality is required. An optimal method would be a continuous inter-comparison of the space-based observations to high quality reference observations made at the Earth’s surface. In this context, the NOVIA project will exploit the high potential of the Spanish atmospheric super-site IARC (Izaña Atmospheric Research Centre, Tenerife), as a ground-based reference site, to perform the first comprehensive validation of the operational atmospheric level 2 trace gas products water vapour, ozone, methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide of the remote sensor IASI (Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer).
Within NOVIA we will document to what extent the ground-based data can be used as a reference for the space-based observations. First, we will inter-compare the many different high quality measurement systems operated at IARC, thereby documenting the quality and long-term consistency of the ground-based data. Second, we will analyse the temporal and spatial variability of the atmospheric parameters at IARC in order to decide about the appropriate temporal and spatial coincidence criteria for the validation of space-based measurements with ground-based observations. IARC’s ground-based FTS (Fourier Transform Spectrometer) experiment will be NOVIA’s core reference technique since it is the only measurement technique that can comprehensively validate many different atmospheric trace gas products. By means of this technique, NOVIA will document the quality of the whole IASI-A time series (2007-2012): What is the quality of the water vapour and ozone profiles? To what extent can IASI observe water vapour, ozone, methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide annual cycles or anomalies? Is there a drift between the IASI and the ground-based reference data?
For May 2012 the next IASI instrument (IASI-B) is scheduled for launch. Based on our studies about the required coincidence criteria a database for IASI-B overpasses will be created and the comparison between IASI and ground-based FTS products will be performed shortly after the measurement. Such near operational validation of satellite sensor products is strongly requested by the satellite operators and the climate research community. Furthermore, it will be a good strategy for validating the huge amount of data series that will be produced by the next generation of satellite sensors. For instance, besides the three IASI sensors (A, B, and C) there will soon be MTG-IRS (Meteosat Third Generation – Infra Red Sounder) producing trace gas time series with unprecedented high temporal and spatial resolution from a geostationary orbit. Therefore, NOVIA will setup guidelines for the validation of such huge amount of operational climate monitoring products.

Financial entity: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Plan Nacional de I+D 2012.

Funding budget: 131.040 €

Contract number: CGL2012-37505

Length: 01/01/2013-21/12/2015

Number of involved institutions: AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center) and Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Principal investigator: Dra. Omaira García


Project title: VALidation of IASI level 2 products (VALIASI).

Description: The VALIASI project will perform the first comprehensive validation of the IASI level 2 temperature, humidity, and trace gas products (O3, CH4, N2O, CO, CO2). To this end, ground-based FTIR high quality measurements of the total column amounts of H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, CO, CO2 and the vertical profiles of temperature, H2O and O3 will be used as a reference data set. The FTIR data are a key element for climate monitoring and, in fact, given its high potential it is planned to assimilate the FTIR data in the ECMWF's model.
The work develoved by VALIASI will be fundamental for studies that apply the operational IASI level 2 trace gas products in climate research (e.g., greenhouse gas and water cycle, stratosphere and troposphere processes, etc.). Furthermore, it will allow identifing the leading error sources, which is a prerequisite for further improvements of EUMETSAT’s operational retrieval algorithms.

Financial entity: EUMETSAT

Funding budget: 75.000 €

Contract number: N/A

Length: 01/01/2013-31/08/2014

Number of involved institutions: AEMET (The Izaña Atmospheric Research Center) and Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Principal investigator: Dra. Omaira García