One of the aims of FAIRMODE is to harmonize modelling practices and provide guidance to EU Member States (MS) on the use of models in the framework of the Air Quality Directive. A recent survey completed by the National Contact Points pointed out that modelling activities have a clear added value to the policy making process but there is still a lack of clarity in legislation and a lack of common guidance on how to apply models in support of the implementation of the Air Quality Directive.
Over the last couple of years FAIRMODE-WG1 has focused on a QA/QC methodology (Model Quality Objectives, DELTA) and a Benchmarking process for air quality assessment. Although tackling the QA/QC problem is for sure a big step in the right direction to provide common guidance, it is not sufficient. Remaining open questions within the modelling community are for example: when is a model fit for purpose (adequate resolution, adequate assumptions…)? how best to combine modelling results with monitoring data…? Providing answers to those questions is seen as the next challenge for WG1.
A user guide is available for downloading. Follow the steps to upload your data to the EC Maps Database.
The EU Composite Mapping initiative
In order to open the discussion on the questions mentioned above, FAIRMODE-WG1 launched an initiative to collect and assemble modelled air quality maps into an EU wide "Composite Map". The objective of this exercise is in the first place capacity building and to trigger discussions on topics such as:
- border effects which will become more visible between neighboring regions/countries,
- use of data assimilation or data fusion techniques to produce air quality maps,
- quality and consistency of underlying emission inventories,
- choice of adequate spatial resolution for a particular application.
The platform will improve comparability of assessment methodologies and will make it easier to learn from each other. Furthermore, the exercise can also be used to convince countries or regions that are not yet using models on a regular basis to participate in the process.
In the course of 2015-2016 many national/regional agencies and modelling teams provided their best available air quality maps for PM10 and NO2 for their particular country, region or city. These maps were compiled into an EU-wide bottom-up Composite Map which was presented at the FAIRMODE Plenary Meeting in February 2017 in Utrecht. At the plenary meeting in Utrecht the second version of the Composite Map initiative was also announced. For this second version:
- The data sets that are available in the prototype version of the platform will be copied to the new data base and can be updated by users,
- Where the data for the first version was for 2012 (or any nearby year) users are for this new version invited to provide data for the year 2015,
- In order to facilitate the data processing step, a new Quality Check tool is now available that should be used to check the maps before uploading.
A long term objective of the initiative is to contribute also to the e-Reporting process. Some Member States are already reporting modelling data in the official data flows and more MS are expected to do so in the future. However, also here is a clear lack of guidelines on the use of models and reporting formats. As mentioned before it is not the objective of this initiative to deliver model data for the e-Reporting process but it is obvious that FAIRMODE can prepare the ground for a possible harmonized approach and contribute to reporting guidelines.
[*] A European compilation of national air quality maps based on modelling, Peter de Smet et al., ETC/ACM Technical Paper 2013/3
Quality Check tool v1.0.0
The CMAPPING tool should be used to check the concentration and emission maps before these are uploaded to the Composite mapping database. The tool is installed by downloading and then double clicking on the CMapping.exe file. Once installed a manual can be found in the help directory that can be accessed through the Windows Start button under All programs/JRC-EU/CMappingTool.