Global Earth Observation System (GEOS): System Capabilities and the Role for U.S. EPA Recommendations of a Community Panel

From Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP)

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Doc #: 18 Title: Global Earth Observation System (GEOS): System Capabilities and the Role for U.S. EPA Recommendations of a Community Panel | Document Link
Organization/Author: EPA
Type: Report
Year: 2004
Region: International
Observation Type:
Observation Needs:
Document Status: Unsubmitted, 2009/08/31
Parameters: surface air-quality observations of the criteria pollutants ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter3 (PM2.5 and PM10) are an underutilized yet essential resource.

Albedo • Insolation • Photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) • Leaf area index (LAI) • Biomass heat capacity • Land/water boundaries • Vegetative fraction • Land-use classification

real-time meteorological and air quality measurement capability

  • Meteorological data

Description of Document: The panel was asked to think about how such observing systems might be directed toward minimizing data gaps across spatial scales, thus helping EPA move toward a more comprehensive observing approach that would not only benefit GEOSS but also EPA’s unique domestic mission, including air quality modeling and forecasting.
EPA can make a vital and lasting contribution to GEOSS through (1) the contribution of observations from existing and planned platforms; (2) new strategies for observation and fourdimensional atmospheric-chemical data assimilation; (3) advancing concepts for characterizing emissions; and (4) improvements in data sharing and management. At the same time, the GEOSS effort would benefit substantially from a major focus on the emerging fields of numerical air quality prediction (NAQP) and ecological indicator prediction (EIP). Here we discuss only NAQP, but EIP is a logical extension that would move beyond a strictly atmospheric focus to an emphasis on the whole earth system.

Countries participating in the GEOSS effort should be extensively surveyed to understand how these forecast systems, along with systems based in the U.S., can contribute and serve as foundations for further development and deployment of new measurement and improved forecast-modeling capabilities in GEOSS.

Satellites: These in situ data can be combined with satellite data to yield good-quality 3-D analyses over broad regions and eventually on the global scale. The combination of satellite and in situ measurements using advanced data assimilation techniques mimics methodologies that have proven successful for analyzing diverse types of meteorological data.

Use of current and future satellite tropospheric trace-gas measurements should therefore be an important component in developing a national air quality forecasting and assessment capability.

Effective utilization of new and existing satellite data sets for air quality prediction will also require the development and evaluation of a broad range of global modeling and data assimilation tools of varying complexity.

we endorse the specific recommendation of IGACO “to proceed with the immediate implementation of satellites in support of air quality applications. In particular, priority should be given to a satellite system that includes geostationary instruments since only these offer the necessary time and spatial resolution to support air quality forecasting.”