Integration of AQ Observation Systems:Summary of existing networks

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This section provides a brief summary of an attached document which catalogues the status of existing that is under preparation. The attachment would be a stand alone document and would include meta-data level information on networks and related programs, focused on the U.S., but with some attention to European/International efforts that contribute to U.S. assessments. The catalogue would be organized by: routine ground based networks, special field campaigns, routine vertical resolution systems (ground (sondes and remote sensing) and aircraft), and satellites.

The purpose of this section, in addition to providing a useful reference or starting point, is to claim a basis for needed enhancements, whether they be additional parameters, locations in key rural gaps or source areas, and added vertical information. Ideally, the catalogue should form a basis for assessment, i.e., what are the redundancies, the gaps and how effective are networks meeting intended objectives. Such an assessment will be recommended, but likely beyond the scope of this report.

While the attachment will provide a very black and white synopsis of what is out there, this section will start the more analytical process of what value is and is not there and set the stage for subsequent recommendations.

3.1 Summary of major networks, field campaigns and remote sensing systems. (as discussed above)

3.2 Findings from Intensive Field Campaigns

More detailed look into the value of intensive field campaigns and the linkage to standard networks. This could serve as a publishable paper as a reflection on knowledge gained starting form the late 1990’s (PM Supersites, SARMAP) to now (TEXAQS, NEAQS, TRACE-P, ACE, ICARRT) and including some of the broader scale international programs. [Need an author for this section!]

===3.3 Inventory of strategies. === Several plans and strategies (IGACO, National Ammbient Air Monitoring Strategy, GEOSS, others) have been developed over the last five years that strongly complement each other and also share many common objectives. This subsection would set the stage for some of the actions in moving forward that are addressed in section 6.

Strategies. Over the last few years two monitoring based strategies (EPA NAAMS and IGOS/IGACO) have been developed (and arguably are being implemented) that include themes consistent with this report but were developed independently and from vastly different perspectives. This current effort should complement and assist those strategies in a meaningful fashion. The NAAMS emphasizes U.S. ground based systems, largely independent of space based observations and research/special study missions, and IGACO focuses on a more comprehensive global atmosphere environment emphasizing the upper troposphere (and higher). Consequently, this report can add value by addressing the gaps (ground to space), air to other media, and research to program management that are not attended to in the preceding strategies. In taking this approach, all of the efforts become mutually supportive and increase overall chance of success.

Organizational Umbrellas. The Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) embody many of the themes consistent with this effort, and should be considered/explored in the context of:

  • GEOSS as a super overarching umbrella linking observation systems and information for all spatial scales, media, and environmental parameters, environmental forcing parameters (e.g., meteorology, landscape characterization) and organizations. Recognizing this connection can increase the relevancy of GEOSS and, in return, GEOSS…
  • GEOSS would address some of the important “gap” needs that are not high priority items from an individual agency perspective, but are critical to leveraging the collective resources across organizations. The area of data harmonization stands out as a potential contribution through GEOSS, and initial signs based on the ESIP, Federation Architecture are promising….

Other umbrella bodies can be used to strengthen the integration across observation systems. Clearly, the AQRS/CENR has taken steps along these lines by virtue of this effort which builds logically on their previous report (Role of Air Monitoring Networks in Air Quality Management). The AQRS will be challenged to sustain interagency cooperation and track and encourage agency commitments to recommendations after release of this report. Roles of other integrating organizations such as NARSTO (also, Commission for Environmental Cooperation-North American Atlas..adding air networks?, CEC, U.S.-Canada-Mexico…multimedia , LRTAP,…