The work in this part of StratoClim will ensure that improved understanding from the project is translated into user-focused dissemination material that can inform decision makers in policy and business and the wider public.
By including key climate processes in ESMs, StratoClim will substantially improve the skill of climate models with respect to climate projections on time scales from years to decades. This will contribute to evidence-based decision-making in EU policies for environment and climate and support EU initiatives on climate actions.
By its service elements, StratoClim will help to protect European citizens from environmental hazards, i.e. increased levels of UV radiation in case of the formation of an Arctic ozone hole, or unexpected and sudden transient climate change in case of a major volcanic eruption. This will be achieved through rapid response assessments following the occurrence of these events. Reports on expected anomalies in UV radiation or climate will contribute to timely measures to mitigate negative effects on European societies.
Robust climate projections on the time scales mentioned above require a detailed and interactive representation of UTS aerosol, clouds, and ozone in Earth System Models. The full range of expertise required to carry out the necessary highly sophisticated aircraft and ground based measurements, satellite data analysis, process and regional modelling, chemistry climate modelling and earth system modelling does not exist in any individual state. Hence, it is mandatory to bring together the world-class experts from all over Europe in a common, coherent research strategy to achieve the scientific progress envisaged from StratoClim. StratoClim will achieve this. The goals of StratoClim can only be reached by fully exploiting the strength of the European climate research community. As such, StratoClim provides a leading example of how a coordinated multi-national European approach will result in an activity that is significantly stronger than the sum of individual contributions at a national level.
To date, the Asian Monsoon region and the Western Pacific are largely “white spots” in terms of the availability of long-term observational records as well as data sets from intensive field activities related to atmospheric science and climate change. StratoClim will contribute to filling this observational gap.
Even though the Asian Monsoon has been identified as one of the most important regions for transport of trace gases and aerosols to the stratosphere in general, and probably the most important region for transport of anthropogenic pollutants in particular (Randel et al., 2010), there have not been any major aircraft campaigns investigating the dynamical and chemical processes in this region. Thus, the StratoClim aircraft campaign represents a pioneering endeavour, and with the Geophysica being able to fly at all levels below, within and above the TTL carrying the most comprehensive suite of instruments measuring dynamical tracers, aerosol precursor gases and aerosol properties, it will help to answer many of the open questions on vertical transport and chemical processing in the Asian Monsoon.
There are no long-term ground-based monitoring stations in the WP region as part of existing observational networks such as SHADOZ, SOWER or NDACC, although this region is a major source of air mass for the stratosphere. The establishment of a new station in this region as part of StratoClim will represent a valuable expansion of the available network. After the station has been set up and is running successfully, we expect to attract the necessary financial resources to ensure continued operation beyond the end of StratoClim.
A SPARC (Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate; a project within the World Climate Re-search Programme, WCRP) initiative “Stratospheric Sulfur and its Role in Climate (SSiRC)” has recently commenced and was motivated by very similar questions on the dynamical and chemical mechanisms controlling the stratospheric aerosol loading that are raised by StratoClim. However, no research activities are funded by SPARC under this initiative. Nevertheless, the awareness it raises in the larger community, and the connection to other research groups, will be an asset. StratoClim could develop into the backbone of SSiRC and significant synergies are expected. This is aided by the fact that Dr. Markus Rex, as StratoClim coordinator, also leads SSiRC.
StratoClim will produce key data sets for the SPARC activity CCMI and contribute to the scientific basis and the model development required for the SPARC activity “Geoengineering Model Intercomparison Project” (GeoMIP).
The Climate service elements of StratoClim are expected to make an important contribution to the recently constituted Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). StratoClim directly addresses the main goal of GFCS which is to enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale as articulate at the World Climate Conference-3.
Reducing the vulnerability of society to climate-related hazards through better provision of climate services is central to GFCS and there are multiple avenues through which StratoClim will provide such services. Implementation of GFCS relies on contributions of individual countries, or groups of countries, and StratoClim will constitute a component of the European contribution to GFCS.
In the past, while relevant climate information has been available, there has been a disconnect between the providers and the users of this information. StratoClim has developed a strategy to facilitate mainstreaming of the climate information generated in the project in decision making. StratoClim goes beyond just providing the information but will actively work to promote better uptake, understanding and awareness of the need for climate information and climate services. I.e., it will demonstrate the value of the services in socio-economic, safety and sustainability terms.
Key to achieving this will be to strengthen the engagement of providers and users of climate services which StratoClim aims to achieve by building relationships between providers and users of climate services at both the technical and decision-making levels. A focus of GFCS is to also maximize the utility of existing climate service infrastructure and to improving coordination, and strengthening and building this infrastructure where needed. As detailed in this proposal, there are multiple instances where StratoClim capitalizes on existing but not fully exploited capability to deliver climate services to society in Europe.
The model development and results of StratoClim will directly contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and will become a major contribution to the ozone assessment process under the WMO and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in the framework of the Montreal protocol.
StratoClim also contributes to the priority objectives of the Proposal for a new EU Environment Action Programme to 2020 by improving the EU's effectiveness in addressing regional and global challenges related to the environment and climate change. StratoClim ensures that the related policies benefit from state-of-the-art science.
Due to its strong research community in these areas, European scientists perform cutting edge research on the ozone layer and the processes whereby ozone changes in the UTS interact with climate. Building on the strong position of the European scientific community in this area, StratoClim will extend the European research capability well beyond which is currently being achieved. As such StratoClim will maintain and further strengthen Europe’s leading role in this area and will maintain the excellent organisation and cooperation of the European research field in this area.
Access to airborne observations above 16 km, i.e. in the tropical tropopause region (which controls the composition of the global stratosphere and is involved in significant climate feedbacks) and extra-tropical lower stratosphere (the key region for the stratospheric aerosol layer and its climate feedbacks as well as for the formation of polar ozone holes) is a prerequisite for maintaining the competitiveness of European atmospheric science. Of the aircraft platforms available to European scientists, only the M55 Geophysica can carry out measurements at these altitudes. Hence, maintaining the availability of this platform is an important strategic goal for Europe. Without sustained access to the M55 Geophysica, this altitude region can only be reached by the American Global Hawk, WB-57 and ER-2 platforms. StratoClim will maintain the capability of the M55 Geophysica for European scientists and will contribute to supporting the relevant infrastructure to keep this platform available in the future. This is a strong investment in Europe’s research infrastructure for climate research and will pay off by maintaining Europe’s competiveness in an important branch of atmospheric sciences.
The research activities in South Asia and the Western Pacific will foster fruitful collaborations in these areas that will pave the way for further investigations in these regions by local and international teams. The researchers in StratoClim already have multiple connections to research communities in these regions. Access to these existing collaborative networks place StratoClim well to engage local researchers in the measurement programmes in South Asia and the Western Pacific. Through the involvement of local authorities and policy-makers, and through StratoClim activities such as stakeholder events, communication will be enhanced both at the policy and at the stakeholder level. Engagement of local authorities and policy-makers has been identified as essential to implementing the adaptation and mitigation tools required to address the global challenges associated with climate change.
Efficient dissemination to the stakeholders on the socioeconomic side will be achieved by cooperation between WI with many universities and institutes around the world. WI is currently coordinating the FP7 project SUSTAIN EU-ASEAN which focuses on knowledge sharing, research cooperation and stakeholder dialogues on climate action and resource efficiency issues in Europe and Southeast Asia. This project provides an ideal platform for StratoClim for dissemination and access to regional decision makers. Additionally, the Low Carbon Future project brings together stakeholders to develop integrated concepts for sustainable development of cities with two case studies in Düsseldorf, Germany and Wuxi, China.
WI will promote the use of StratoClim research in the socioeconomic community by organising two stakeholder forums. The first will take place around months 25 and will be designed to not only provide information to stakeholders but to also develop a better understanding of the detailed stakeholder needs and interests, which will be taken into account for the detailed planning of the second phase of StratoClim. The second stakeholder forum will take place close to the end of StratoClim and its main purpose is to provide the increased knowledge from StratoClim to the stakeholders.
WI will also help build links in SE Asia through their experience in the above-mentioned projects, alongside UCAM who will develop links through their existing collaborations in Malaysia and Taiwan.
Several technological advances on the instrumentation will be used in StratoClim that will advance the state-of-the-art in airborne field observations.
A number of junior scientists will be involved in StratoClim. Through this involvement they will gain the opportunity to work closely with Europe’s leading scientists to address key questions related to the coupling of stratospheric change and climate, thereby advancing their careers. In addition, a number of PhD projects will be carried out within StratoClim, and opportunities for young researchers to carry out postdoctoral studies will arise. All early career scientists will have the full support of many established and well known senior scientists at their respective institutions and within the entire StratoClim consortium.
One of the partners in the StratoClim consortium is from the E.L. University of Budapest in Hungary. Including this group not only strengthens the scientific profile of StratoClim, but also integrates scientists from the new member states (e.g. Hungary) into the stratospheric research community, where they are currently underrepresented.
A central outcome of the project will be the publication of the results in the international peer reviewed literature. Authors of these papers will be encouraged to publish in open-access journals. To enhance the visibility and impact of the project, special issues in one or two journals are foreseen. The results will also be presented at international conferences and dedicated workshops. The publications will not be limited to the usual Earth Sciences but will include publications on the socio-economic implications of the outcomes of StratoClim.
The research resulting from StratoClim will contribute to international scientific assessments (IPCC, WMO/UNEP, and WCRP/SPARC) that put the latest research into a broader context to convey the knowledge from the science community to stakeholders in politics, policy-making and to the broader public. To accelerate this process, and to disseminate results from StratoClim into related research fields, a comprehensive assessment report will be produced on the importance of the UTS for climate and climate impacts, and on strategies to include the climate relevant processes in the UTS into ESMs. This assessment (which might take the format of a SPARC report) will be internationally peer-reviewed. It will facilitate access of the wider climate modelling community to the results of StratoClim and will aid the inclusion of the model improvements developed within StratoClim into models beyond the StratoClim consortium.
StratoClim will support the production of the next WMO/UNEP assessment with 10,000.00€.
Two services will be provided to policy-makers and to the public. First an assessment of atmospheric changes and resulting climate effects will be provided in the aftermath of a major volcanic eruption. As detailed above, such a service will form an important component of the European contribution to the GFCS. In addition, short-term predictions of the risks of an Arctic ozone hole will be produced each winter. These too will constitute a GFCS service.
Several elements in StratoClim are likely to be of public interest. A range of media will be used including traditional routes such as newspapers/magazines, radio and television, as well as the new digital routes available through the internet. Existing channels (principally the media departments at the partner institutions, but also existing personal contacts) will be used to inform the general public.
A public outreach programme involves participation in science days, electronic media, etc., and will additionally involve the provision of (i) regular Arctic ozone bulletins and (ii) volcanic bulletins (on an ad hoc basis) which will be issued to the news media when warranted. A StratoClim committee on public outreach will be set up which will be responsible for the overall programme. This programme will include basic features such as the StratoClim website (with public and public areas), brochures and other material, educational knowledge transfer, and the production of information about activities and results (including the aircraft campaign and the associated open day). In addition, links will be developed with GMES and European Climate Centres so that their activities can include StratoClim results.
We will particularly focus on identifying synergistic activities with other countries. In particular we will include outreach activities in countries close to the area of interest for the campaign in collaboration with local partners. Existing and new contacts with local scientists, scientific organisations and funding agencies will be developed by identifying areas of common interest in which joint activities can take place. These will be followed up with bi-lateral visits and joint workshops.
Our plans for the management of knowledge (intellectual property) are based on previous projects of this international dimension. For about 1-2 years, all obtained results (data, models) are restricted to the project partners (and selected external Associates) in order to allow for first publication of data by the owner. In line with FP7 Special Clause 29, the Community Institutions and Bodies shall enjoy access rights for the purpose of developing, implementing and monitoring environmental policies. At the end of the project period, all data will be released to the public in full compliance with the EC open data policy.