News

Within the frame of the Green Deal call “European Research Infrastructures capacities and services to address European Green Deal challenges (LC-GD-9-1-2020)” Part C: Enhancing observations for air quality and citizens’ health in urban areas (https://bit.ly/3kIRt1U ), ACTRIS in collaboration with other atmospheric research infrastructures and air quality monitoring networks welcome you to participate to the open call for pilots on specific area/region. 

For further information contact ACTRIS Head Office.

With a view to enhance the ACTRIS user strategy, we are promoting a survey to identify the past, current and future user needs and the potential gaps in the services offered. ACTRIS promotes the provision of access to a large variety of high-quality services offered by ACTRIS facilities, to a wide range of users and needs and for scientific, technological and innovation-oriented usage. This survey aims at identifying past and current collaboration between ACTRIS and private sector as well as at inventorying the needs of the ACTRIS key user groups. The results will be related with the current and future ACTRIS capabilities to derive recommendations for the development of services and the access system. Take the chance to have a say in the development of ACTRIS services by sharing your experience and your views on the access to ACTRIS services and/or on ACTRIS-private sector collaboration! Participation in the online survey only takes 15 min. Your answers will be treated in a strictly confidential manner and will be anonymized for aggregating statistical analysis. For any questions or technical problems, please contact Jochen Wagner (jochen.wagner@i-med.ac.at). Please fill in this survey by 15.01.2021. Thank you for your valuable cooperation! Participate to the survey: click here.

On Tuesday, November 3rd 2020, the European Commission released the evaluations and funding decisions of the applications to the INFRAIA-03-2020 call. ATMO-ACCESS is among the projects that were funded.

ATMO-ACCESS is the organized response of distributed atmospheric research facilities ACTRIS, ICOS and IAGOS for developing a pilot for a new model of Integrating Activities. The project will deliver a series of recommendations for establishing a comprehensive and sustainable framework for access to distributed atmospheric Research Infrastructures (RI), ensuring integrated access to and optimised use of the services they provide. ATMO-ACCESS mobilizes extensive resources in the atmospheric RIs communities to engage into harmonizing access procedures in relation to policies, financial regulations and conditions for access. It will develop and test innovative modalities of access to facilities and complementary and more advanced services, including digital services, developed as part of cross-RI efforts. ATMO-ACCESS will open physical and remote access to 43 operational European atmospheric research facilities, including ground-based observation stations, simulation chambers, but also mobile facilities and central laboratories that are fundamental elements in distributed RIs. Innovative cross-RI cloud services, addressing the management of data produced via access and the use of new, integrated data products, but also virtual tools for training, are offered through virtual access to RI data centres.

The ATMO-ACCESS project has now reached the stage of Grant Agreement preparation. The total funding is 15M€ for the period 2021-2025.

ACTRIS IMP launches the first call for proposals to access its facilities. ACTRIS IMP offers limited opportunities for free-of-charge transnational access to specific services at 11 ACTRIS facilities comprising Topical Centres (TCs), the Data Centre (DC), National Facilities (NFs), or combined ACTRIS Facilities (NF-TC), located in 10 different countries. Find more information & practicalities here.

ACTRIS Week was a success!
29 October 2020

ACTRIS first virtual community meeting took place during 26.-28.10.2020. ACTRIS Week was the first event to gather ACTRIS Community and update on ACTRIS progresses, including the outcomes of the first 10 months of the ACTRIS IMP project. Large participation was recorded throughout the event with the peak (approximately 300 participants) during the ACTRIS Scientific Plenary session. The session, open to public, promoted ACTRIS activities in relation to COVID-19 and featured a lively panel discussion among Martine de Maziere (BIRA-IASB), Werner Kutsch (ICOS ERIC), Vincent-Henri Peuch (ECMWF-Copernicus), Mikhail Sofiev (FMI), and Claus Zehner (ESA).

Thank you all for the participation!

ACTRIS appoints Trust-IT Services to upgrade its web portal
8 September 2020

As part of its efforts to better engage its community, ACTRIS has selected Trust-IT Services to upgrade and enhance its web portal.

ACTRIS website plays a vital role in communicating and disseminating information to a wide range of stakeholders. In June 2020, ACTRIS, through the Finnish Meteorological Institute, published an invitation to tender to procure services for the development of its website and the provision of hosting and maintenance services.

Trust-IT Services was selected to carry out the project given its extensive experience working with European research initiatives, marketing, IT and science communication companies. Trust-IT Services has had more than 10-years experience developing innovative web and IT solutions for research and innovation initiatives and commercial clients. Leveraging its in-house marketing, graphics and IT teams, Trust-IT has been a trusted partner for research institutions across Europe.

Interim ACTRIS Leader Sanna Sorvari Sundet said, ”ACTRIS website is a fundamental tool for promoting of ACTRIS and its services. ACTRIS is developing at a fast pace and we need a web platform which is agile and scalable. This project is a milestone for ACTRIS which lays out the basis for implementation of future features and services of ACTRIS. We are confident that with TRUST-IT’s experience we will reach our expectation.”

Trust-IT Services CEO Silvana Muscella said, “We are proud to have been selected by the Finnish Meteorological Institute. We will be mobilising our best technical competences to deliver the new ACTRIS web platform, also taking Trust-IT’s advantageous position in the work it already does in the research infrastructures arena.”

The project kicked off on 7 September 2020 and is expected to be carried out until the end of 2021.


 

Long-awaited data management book created by ENVRI community is out!
31 July 2020

ENVRI community, guided by the editors Zhiming Zhao and Maggie Hellström, worked hard on a 20-chapter book providing a systematic overview of the common challenges faced by research infrastructures. This highly anticipated publication explains how a ‘reference model guided’ engineering approach can be used to achieve greater interoperability among such infrastructures in the environmental and Earth sciences.

Published by Springer, you can purchase the real softcover book in its book archive, or access its contents ENVRI community website.

The book is organized around five different parts focusing on the design, development, deployment, operation, and use of research infrastructures.

COVID-19 aerosol lidar NRT campaign
12 May 2020

The EARLINET/ACTRIS intensive campaign is organized as part of the ACTRIS initiative for studying the changes in the atmosphere during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The scope of the campaign is twofold:

a) to monitor the atmosphere’s structure during the lockdown and early relaxation period in Europe;   

b) to identify possible changes due to decreased emissions, by comparison to the aerosol climatology in Europe.

During the entire month of May, aerosol lidars will measure at least two-times per day, and data will be processed by the Single Calculus Chain in a centralized hub. In order to test the NRT capabilities, data will be available in max. 12h after the end of each measurement. More than 20 EARLINET/ACTRIS lidar stations are participating to this experiment, out of which 7 are automatic, continuous operating systems. The analysis of this preliminary data will be reported weekly to ACTRIS, Copernicus, the European Space Agency and EUMETSAT, but also to relevant stakeholders at national level.

This campaign is also a good opportunity for testing and optimizing the workflows between the future ACTRIS Aerosol Remote Sensing NFs, the ACTRIS Topical Centre for Aerosol Remote Sensing (CARS) and the Aerosol Remote Sensing Unit at the ACTRIS Data Centre (ARES).

Go to the weekly reports here

Check the daily quicklooks at: https://quicklooks.earlinet.org/

COVID19
















Lidar stations providing measurements of the aerosol profiles daily:
a) in yellow, stations measuring 2 times per day;
b) in red, stations providing continuous measurements

COVID-19 aerosol lidar NRT campaign
12 May 2020

The EARLINET/ACTRIS intensive campaign is organized as part of the ACTRIS initiative for studying the changes in the atmosphere during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The scope of the campaign is twofold:

a) to monitor the atmosphere’s structure during the lockdown and early relaxation period in Europe;   

b) to identify possible changes due to decreased emissions, by comparison to the aerosol climatology in Europe.

During the entire month of May, aerosol lidars will measure at least two-times per day, and data will be processed by the Single Calculus Chain in a centralized hub. In order to test the NRT capabilities, data will be available in max. 12h after the end of each measurement. More than 20 EARLINET/ACTRIS lidar stations are participating to this experiment, out of which 7 are automatic, continuous operating systems. The analysis of this preliminary data will be reported weekly to ACTRIS, Copernicus, the European Space Agency and EUMETSAT, but also to relevant stakeholders at national level.

This campaign is also a good opportunity for testing and optimizing the workflows between the future ACTRIS Aerosol Remote Sensing NFs, the ACTRIS Topical Centre for Aerosol Remote Sensing (CARS) and the Aerosol Remote Sensing Unit at the ACTRIS Data Centre (ARES).

Go to the weekly reports here

Check the daily quicklooks at: https://quicklooks.earlinet.org/

COVID19

Lidar stations providing measurements of the aerosol profiles daily:
a) in yellow, stations measuring 2 times per day;
b) in red, stations providing continuous measurements

EUROCHAMP simulation chambers in response to COVID-19
16 April 2020

The EUROCHAMP-2020 community has released a statement about the research potential of simulation chambers in the fight against COVID-19.

ACTRIS activities connected to the COVID-19 and lockdown in Europe
3 April 2020


ACTRIS measurements up and running during the lockdown situation.

Survey among ACTRIS National Facilities revealed that most of the ACTRIS observational and exploratory platforms are operational. Within the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak, ACTRIS is continuing to provide access to data on air quality and atmospheric composition. This is of particular interest and importance as it provides us with unique information measured from the ground of the European air quality and atmospheric composition during the lockdown. ACTRIS complements, in a fundamental way, satellite observation and modelling analysis. The near-real time data are available through the ACTRIS Data Centre (https://actris.nilu.no/).

Short distance transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via airborne particles.

Newspapers and social media are flooded with facts and news connected to SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and its consequences on our society.

Today’s headline on several national and global media and websites (e.g. Repubblica, BBC) recommended the use of masks as studies indicate that particles can carry the virus (1). The short distance ( < 8m) transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via airborne particles is also being investigated e.g. by the Finnish researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Aalto University, University of Helsinki and the Finnish Meteorological Institute as well by researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They are studying how pathogens, such as corona virus, can be transported by the very small particles that are emitted from the respiratory tract when coughing, sneezing or simply talking (2,3).

Estimates of the effects of lockdown on air quality is complex and in progress, and the meteorological conditions are crucial

In addition to the transmission potential of SARS-CoV-2 on short distances, a lot of attention has also been given to the large scale environmental changes resulting from lockdowns spreading across Europe, for example, from a reduction in seismic noise (4) to atmospheric composition changes as reported from ESA and Copernicus satellite observations (5) and CAMS modelling analysis (6). However, long-term and quality assured data need to be applied in the evaluation of the correlation results as meteorological condition can obstruct such the analysis (7).

The COVID-19 crisis is demanding urgent responses from the scientific community. Given the inherent complexity of the atmospheric processes, ACTRIS will inform regularly always considering the necessity to provide expertise based on sound scientific understanding.

Links:

1 https://www.nap.edu/catalog/25769/rapid-expert-consultation-on-the-possibility-of-bioaerosol-spread-of-sars-cov-2-for-the-covid-19-pandemic-april-1-2020

2 https://sciencebusiness.net/network-updates/finnish-researchers-join-forces-investigate-airborne-transmission-coronavirus

3 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763852

4 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00965-x

5 https://www.copernicus.eu/en/news/news/coronavirus-copernicus-sentinel-5p-reveals-nitrogen-dioxide-emissions-drop-over-italy

6 https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/air-quality-information-confirms-reduced-activity-levels-due-lockdown-italy

7 https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/flawed-estimates-effects-lockdown-measures-air-quality-satellite-observations

 
 

ACTRIS-IT is closely monitoring air composition during COVID-19 lockdown.
30 March 2020

ACTRIS-Italy is collecting parallel measurements of atmospheric composition at different altitudes and urbanization contexts in Northern Italy.

According to first analyses, surface concentration of NO2 have decreased in north Italy of about 10% per week during the last four or five weeks4,5. The concentrations of another major air pollutant, the particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), have declined too but with large day-to-day variations: after two weeks of lockdown and large reductions in traffic activity in north Italy, PM10 levels above the threshold of 50 mg m-3 are still recorded in several cities of the Po Valley.

The main facility operative within ACTRIS in Northern Italy is “Monte Cimone – Po Valley observatory” (CMN-PV). It is a distributed infrastructure including the GAW and ICOS stations of Monte Cimone (http://www.isac.cnr.it/cimone/) in the northern Apennines, and the two stations of San Pietro Capofiume and Bologna in the south sector of the Po Valley. It is a unique observatory for providing parallel measurements of atmospheric composition at different altitudes and urbanization contexts in the same geographical area. Preliminary measurements at Monte Cimone (2165 m a. s. l.) show reduced submicron aerosol concentrations compared to 2019 (Fig. 1). If confirmed, a negative anomaly with respect to the climatology will proof that the abatement of anthropogenic emissions caused by the lockdown are affecting the composition of the background atmosphere in this region of the world.

Fig. 1. Monthly mean concentrations of accumulation-mode aerosol at Monte Cimone in 2019 and early 2020 (update March 20th).

At the low altitude sites of the observatory (Bologna and San Pietro Capofume), advanced aerosol measurements are set up during intensive observation periods. Currently, a state-of-the-art high-resolution aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) is being operated in Bologna (Fig. 2). The instrument provides real-time submicron aerosol chemical composition measurements providing unparalleled detail on the time-resolved PM source contributions including traffic, residential combustion and secondary formation. First observations during the lockdown show that the concentrations of several particulate anthropogenic pollutants – like ammonium nitrate – are still very dynamic in the Po Valley, with a large variability induced by meteorological factors. Accounting for such effects provides baseline knowledge for quantifying the impact of emission changes on PM concentration levels. Probing the complexity of the meteorological and chemical processes linking emissions to concentrations is one of the targets of ACTRIS.

Fig. 2 Time series of the non-refractory chemical components of sub-micrometer aerosol measured by the HR-ToF-AMS in Bologna (preliminary data for the third week of March 2020). “Org”: organic matter; “NO3”: nitrate; “SO4”: sulfate; “NH4”: ammonium; “Chl”: chloride.

International scientific networks and collaborations are of great importance for the empowerment of regional monitoring networks for priority scientific objectives. Further advanced aerosol observations, including multichannel aerosol size and mobility distributions measurements, are being set up in collaboration with the University of Modena, Helsinki and of Eastern Finland.

The established scientific collaborations between CNR and other partners with the EU institutions responsible for satellite Earth observations (EUMETSAT, ASI) will enable to benchmark remote-sensed air quality parameters with the advanced in situ ground measurements carried out by ACTRIS for a more quantitative assessment of the impact of emissions on concentrations and exposure.

In these extraordinary times, scientific research must take a pro-active role to achieve quantitative information on the human impact on the environment, as such information will be key for governance in the upcoming years.

Source: An ACTRIS-Italy contribution to atmospheric monitoring during the COVID-19 lockdown.

 

 

 

ACTRIS response to air quality observation at the time of SARS-CoV-2.
Date: 24.03.2020, Last update: 27.03.2020


Air quality has changed across Europe, and in particularly in Northern Italy, in conjunction with the lockdown implemented in many countries to fight against the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2.

Data from Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite (1) and from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) reanalysis (2) have revealed that nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions drastically diminished in the Po Valley as the lockdown halts most of the traffic and industrial activities. Additionally, reductions in particulate matter (PM10) concentrations and low variability have been observed in different regions of Europe.

ACTRIS supports rapid, high-quality data to observe atmospheric composition changes during global health crises.

Researches are interested in obtaining accurate and highly reliable data on air quality which can help understanding, for example,  if and how aerosol can be linked with the transport of SARS-CoV-2, changes in upper air meteorological data and in cirrus clouds near the top of the troposphere due to the reduction of air traffic.

ACTRIS is currently gathering atmospheric composition measurements from ACTRIS platforms across different areas in Europe which will directly impact the reliability of air quality studies by providing crucial information on aerosol and trace gases variables during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemics.

The Italian component of the distributed research infrastructure ACTRIS (ACTRIS-IT) is based on a number of different facilities distributed throughout the national territory including observational sites with multiparameter instrumentation, laboratories and experimental simulation chambers. ACTRIS-IT is collecting parallel measurements of atmospheric composition at different altitudes and urbanization contexts in the Po Valley. You can read more about the ACTRIS-Italy contribution to atmospheric monitoring during the COVID-19 lockdown by clicking here (3).

ACTRIS will also prepare specific, user-friendly data sets of the atmospheric observations for various user groups when the lockdown situation is over for further detailed studies and analyse the environmental and societal impacts of the COVID-19 and the closing down of several sectors of society (e.g. transport, industry, services).

ACTRIS actively engages with the wider community of Research Infrastructures in Europe to support joint activities for SARS-CoV-2 research.

ACTRIS is collaborating with the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and the Association of European-Level Research Infrastructures Facilities (ERF-AISBL) (4) to create dedicated spaces favoring the uptake of services offered by RIs in support of scientists conducting research related to SARS-CoV-2.

Links:

1 Copernicus Sentinel5P: https://www.copernicus.eu/en/news/news/coronavirus-copernicus-sentinel-5p-reveals-nitrogen-dioxide-emissions-drop-over-italy

2 Copernicus CAMS: https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/air-quality-information-confirms-reduced-activity-levels-due-lockdown-italy

3 ACTRIS-ITALY contribution: http://www.actris.eu/Portals/46/Outreach/ACTRIS-IT_Contribution%20CoV-SARS-2.pdf?ver=2020-03-27-094352-423

4 ERF-AISBL: https://erf-aisbl.eu/research-infrastructures-offer-for-research-on-covid-19/



ACTRIS-D selected for the National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research selected ACTRIS-D, the German Consortium of ACTRIS, for the National Roadmap. With this achievement, ACTRIS-D is recognized as a fundamental and edge-cutting research infrastructure providing outstanding research climate and atmosphere.

This is great achievement for the ACTRIS-D consortium and fundamental for the implementation of ACTRIS at European level. Congratulation ACTRIS-D!

Find the press release (in German) here.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Ulla Wandinger (ulla.wandinger@tropos.de)

 
The Wolkenlabor in Leipzing is part of ACTRIS and EUROCHAMP-2020. Photo credits: Tilo Arnhold, TROPOS

ACTRIS Implementation Project (IMP) got funding!

On Friday August the 23rd 2019 the European Commission released the evaluations and funding decisions of the applications to the INFRADEV-3 call. ACTRIS IMP was among the project that were funded.

ACTRIS IMP project has now reached the stage of Grant Agreement preparation. The total funding is 5M€ for the period 2020-2023 and funds will be granted to ACTRIS IMP for the next four years.