Air Quality

Enhancement of emmissions monitoring through dynamic calibration of low cost sensors


Environment: Urban, peri-urban and rural

Location: EU

CitSci approach: Testing added value of low cost sensors

Context, stakeholders and challenges

Curbing greenhouse gas emissions and monitoring progress and effectiveness of mitigation policies is a key need. The European Commission has tasked the Copernicus program to develop an ambitious system using Earth Observation and advanced processing to monitor and verify the progress of Member State countries in implementing their nationally determined contributions. The system will use the future CO2M satellite constellation and “inverse modelling” techniques to derive emissions estimates from atmospheric concentrations. The accuracy and quality of these estimates are essential, and various research projects are supporting the required underpinning research. The integration of various observation sources is critical to ensure that all relevant information is integrated for policy design and monitoring. ECMWF is already working with stakeholders at international, European, national, and regional levels to co-design solutions that meet their needs, in the context of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.


In the context of integrating various emerging sources of greenhouse gas concentration observations into future operational emissions monitoring systems, there are at least three difficulties to overcome, including representativeness of observations, complex metrology, and lack of interoperability. The objective of this pilot is acquiring new in situ observation streams and developing solutions to make them interoperable and usable in future emissions monitoring systems. AD4GD will target public local-scale actors, sensor manufacturing companies, resellers, and associations and CitSci initiatives. The solutions will be designed together with stakeholders and end-users and developed in a scalable and replicable manner. ECMWF will liaise with wider consortia involved in building capacity based on Earth observations and traditional/reference sensors.

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