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Global Air Quality Forecasting and Information System (GAFIS)

Urban air pollution

The GAFIS Global to Local Air Quality Forecast System Inventory  

Introduction

Air pollution represents a serious environmental problem. Each year, 7 million premature deaths are attributed to air pollution, with huge economic consequences – estimates indicate $5 trillion in welfare losses and $255 billion in lost income (World Bank Report, 2016). Furthermore, air pollution is detrimental for ecosystems, damages property, impacts visibility and haze, and threatens food and water security. Some pollutants such as tropospheric ozone are also climate forcers while aerosols tend to produce atmospheric cooling. 

A new science for services initiative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme --Global Air Quality Forecasting and Information System (GAFIS) will help support the health community, international partners and society, with globally consistent air quality forecasting and information systems that operate from the global to regional to urban scale. 
 

Objectives 

The high-level objective of GAFIS is: “to enable and provide air quality forecasting and information services in a globally harmonized and standardized way tailored to the needs of society”.

GAFIS will builds a platform for providers and users of air quality forecast and information systems. It will enable access to, and use of, air quality prediction and analysis products at various temporal and spatial scales and bring the atmospheric composition component to WMO’s Earth System approach for developing NWP and Climate monitoring and modelling.

GAFIS will develop harmonized standards of operations by primarily looking at existing WMO standards and in the context of the Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS). Additionally, it will be fully inclusive, comprising operational activities as well as pre-operational and experimental ones to engage with the entire community.

GAFIS will coordinate activities to help Developing and Least Developed Countries in reaching their air quality standards and Sustainable Development Goals. GAFIS will promote that air quality related products and services freely and openly.
 

Implementation 

GAFIS will serve as an international coordinating mechanism and establish and propagate consistent methods and standards for existing and upcoming air quality forecasting and monitoring services, as well as for air quality observations used for air quality forecast evaluation.

The GAFIS implementation plan is currently developed focusing on the following topical areas:

  • Capacity development and user interaction for Air Quality Forecast and Information Systems 
  • Good Practice for Air Quality Forecast and Information Systems
  • Observations required for Air Quality Forecast and Information Systems
  • Scientific and operational synergies between Air Quality Forecasting and Numerical Weather Prediction"
Fig. Schematic overview of potential GAW service

Fig. Schematic overview of potential GAW service

(WMO Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Implementation Plan: 2016-2023)

Global Forecast

Daily air quality “chemical weather” forecasts at the global scale are already provided operationally by established institutions. For example, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service provides global air quality forecast that forecast the impact of anthropogenic emissions, desert dust and wild fires on air quality at a resolution of about 40 km.  

Regional Forecast

Regional forecasts can be more accurate than the global forecast due to their capability of resolving more spatial details of the emission, the chemistry and the transport. In North America and Europe such regional models are already operational. They use global forecasts as lateral boundary conditions.
For other parts of the world, the MAP-AQ projects MarcoPolo and Panda have developed an operational air quality forecasting system which provides daily forecasts of ozone, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter for the 37 largest urban areas of China. A similar forecasting system is developed for Latin America (PAPILA).

Urban Forecast

In cities both local meteorology and infrastructure including buildings determine the propagation of pollutants. Thus, pollution levels can vary tremendously between different streets. Such information may guide sustainable planning in cities, and people to use less polluted streets to protect their health. In many cities a substantial contribution to urban pollution comes from outside of the cities, hence urban scale modelling requires proper link to regional scale modelling. 

Downscaling

To obtain air quality information for a specific region, city or even street, higher spatial resolution of the forecasting model is required than the global or regional air quality forecast. Downscaling employs a higher resolution for a specified area, similar to a magnifying glass. The large scale information of the global or regional model is used as input. Urban Air quality forecasts are often produced from downscaling of global or regional forecasts.

 

Demonstration 

In this part, we present some of the outcomes/demonstrations from our partners. More details could be found from their websites.

Global Products

CAMS provides five-day forecasts of aerosols, atmospheric pollutants, greenhouse gases, stratospheric ozone and the UV-Index every day.

Fig. Aerosol optical depth at 550 nm 11 Feb 00 UTC 2020  (provided by CAMS, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service)

Fig. Aerosol optical depth at 550 nm 11 Feb 00 UTC 2020
 (provided by CAMS, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service). Example is shown and the full range of forecast is available here.

WHO Global Ambient Air Quality Database

WHO Global Ambient Air Quality Database

Example is from WHO Global Ambient Air Quality database.

UNEP Global Environmental Platform

UNEP

Example from UNEP Global Environmental Platform is shown. Forecast and products are available here.

Regional Products

MarcoPolo and Panda project

MarcoPolo and Panda project

Example is obtained from MarcoPolo and Panda Project within the EU FP7 Programme. Forecast and products are available here.

SDS-WAS Regional Centre for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe

SDS-WAS Regional Centre for Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe

Examples is obtained from SDS-WAS NA-ME-E. Forecast and products are available here.

SDS-WAS Regional Centre for Asia 

SDS-WAS Regional Centre for Asia

Example is obtained from SDS-WAS Asia. Forecast and products are available here.

SDS-WAS Regional Centre for Pan American

SDS-WAS Regional Centre for Pan American

Example is obtained from SDS-WAS Pan American Regional Centre. Forecast and products are available here.

VFSP-WAS Regional Centre for Southeast Asia

VFSP-WAS Regional Centre for Southeast Asia

Examples is obtained from VFSP-WAS Southeast Asia Regional Centre. Forecast and products are available here.

Urban Products

Urban Health, Air Quality and Climate: Mexico City Case Study

Urban Health, Air Quality and Climate: Mexico City Case Study

Examples is obtained from Mexico City Pilot Project of the WMO GAW Urban Research Meteorology and Environment Project (GURME). 

System of Air Quality forecasting and Research (SAFAR)--India

System of Air Quality forecasting and Research (SAFAR)--India

Examples is obtained from SAFAR-India Commonwealth Games Pilot Project of the WMO GAW Urban Research Meteorology and Environment Project (GURME). 

 

Global to Local Air Quality Forecast Inventory

As a first step of setting up GAFIS, we are performing the survey on the air quality forecasting system you operate and the products you provide. We encourage you to share this survey with your community to make sure a wide range AQ forecast is catalogued. The results of the survey will be shared with all participants and the air quality community. We really appreciate your taking the time and providing the input!

The survey is available here.

We share a list of entries linking to near-real-time air quality forecast, which is available here.

 

GAFIS Steering Committee

Member List

ToRs

 

Partners 

The contributions from other partners are open. We particularly engage the WMO operational community.

APP SAG 

CAMS

GURME 

ICAP 

MAP-AQ 

PREFIA

SDS-WAS

UN Environment

VFSP-WAS 

WHO

 

Publications:

To be added
 

Events and conferences

  • 24-28 May 2020- Online

JpGU - AGU Joint Meeting 2020: https://jpgu-agu2020.ipostersessions.com/Default.aspx?s=5A-B7-5B-19-E3-77-79-70-E5-40-B7-2F-9C-01-38-13 

  • 04-08 May 2020- Online

EGU 2020-AS5.4: Coupled modelling and data assimilation of dynamics and chemistry of the atmosphere (https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2020/session/36841 )