MACC-II: delivering the prototype Copernicus Service for Atmosphere
The Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate – Interim Implementation (MACC-II) project is the current pre-operational atmospheric service of the European Copernicus programme, formerly called GMES. MACC-II delivers information on the atmospheric environment in the form of data records on atmospheric composition for recent years, of data for monitoring present conditions and of forecasts of the distribution of key constituents for a few days ahead. MACCII combines state-of-the-art atmospheric modelling with Earth observation data to provide services covering European Air Quality, Global Atmospheric Composition, Climate, and UV and Solar Energy. MACC-II uses a wide array of satellite and in-situ data, observing both meteorological and atmospheric composition variables, to provide a best estimate of the current state of the atmosphere on a daily basis. These analyses are then used as initial conditions for 5-day global forecasts of atmospheric composition and 4-day European air quality forecasts. The transformation of a wide array of observational data streams into a comprehensive monitoring and forecasting capability provides a key element of the full Copernicus service line. The prototype Copernicus Atmosphere Service, developed and operated by MACC-II, is already routinely providing daily products free of charge to a wide range of users. The global and regional forecasts have direct significant value for various users, but there is also an increasing amount of public and commercial entities that use the MACC-II services to provide tailored products for specific user groups. For instance, the MACCII European air quality forecasts are used as boundary conditions for regional or even city-level air quality predictions. Another example is the use of aerosol forecasts to provide more accurate information for solar energy applications. This clearly shows how new opportunities are created by providing free information through the Copernicus framework. These stimulate both growth in jobs and provision of more and better information on atmospheric composition to European citizens.