Research

Air quality forecasting

Ozone forecasting example (MACC)

Introduction
Owing to air pollution and its adverse health effects, the demand for useful information on the current and future air quality is ever growing. In collaboration with KNMI and RIVM, TNO is providing daily forecasts of ozone, NO2 and PM (particulate matter) over Europe and the Netherlands. The forecasts are based on calculations from the LOTOS-EUROS chemistry transport model and observations of pollutant concentrations over Europe. Currently only groundbased observations are used, however in the near future observations from satellites will be included.

Air quality forecasting for Europe
The use of satellite observation data plays an important role in the development of effective monitoring systems. Within the European Copernicus programme (previously known as GMES, funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the EU, combined efforts are being taken to establish a European capacity for Earth Observation. As part of the former GMES programme, MACC - Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate - (and its follow-up MACC II) is the intitiative for a core operational atmospheric service over Europe. TNO also partners in the downstream air quality services project called PasoDoble also falling under the Copernicus/GMES programme.
MACC
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.
Within MACC TNO provides a daily forecast of air quality from the LOTOS-EUROS model, which is included in the ensemble of forecasts of six other models (Chimere, EMEP model, EURAD, MATCH, MOCAGE and SILAM) for European Air Quality. Analyses and 3-day forecasts of European air quality are provided in near-real-time. The seven regional air quality models taking part have provided their own forecast based on the same boundary conditions and emissions. This provides an ensemble of forecasts, which can be used to assess the uncertainty of the forecast.
Project: MACC (webpage TNO, official webpage)
PasoDoble
The EU project Promote Air quality Services integrating Observations -Development Of Basic Localised Information for Europe -otherwise known as PASODOBLE - had the aim to set up a number of sustainable services to communicate information on air quality and its adverse health effects to citizens, municipalities and organisations. By combining ground and satellite measurements with models, services have been developed for local and regional applications. As the coordinator of the IC-AIRSHEDS work package, TNO has played a major role in the project. Within this work package, air quality analyses and predictions have been delivered on a scale of 6 km by 6 km for four areas within Europe.
Ozone and PM forecasting for the Netherlands
Example of ozone forecasting (SMOGprog project)
In close connection to the development of air quality forecasting instruments for Europe (ESA-GMES project PROMOTE, EU FP6 GMES project GEMS, EU FP7 GMES project MACC) an operational system is running to provide ozone and PM forecasts in the Netherlands. The system is first developed within the national SmogProg project. SmogProg was a cooperative project between the RIVM, KNMI and TNO. Based on measurements, assimilated in the LOTOS-EUROS model, the system produces diagnostic and prognostic air quality data. The 24 and 48 hours advance prognosis data are used for the official daily smog forecast for the Netherlands as issued by RIVM (see webpage of RIVM). Next to serving as a basis for smog forecasts, the forecasts are also communicated to civil authorities and the public.
Project: SmogProg (official webpage RIVM)
Smart-phone App
The daily LOTOS-EUROS air quality forecasts for the The Netherlands are used as background concentrations for local air quality. An indication of the air quality at any location in the domain could be inquired through a smart phone app.

The app is part of of the Dutch Air quality monitoring network.

Case study: air quality forecast over Brazil
In view of the world-wide interest in Brazil during the summer of 2014, an experimental air quality forecast with the LOTOS-EUROS model has been performed that covered the south-eastern coast of this country. The last forecast was released at July 21.
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