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Event: ' Towards An Integrated Observing System For South America'

Project Meetings
Meetings related with the project.
Date: Monday, January 09, 2012 At 08:00
Duration: 4 Days


Urbanization and population concentration areoutstanding phenomena in South America. About 83% of the 530 million SouthAmericans live already in large coastal or near coastal cities (> 750 kinhabitants), many of which are heavily polluted. Hereto, environmentalauthorities in these cities have invested substantial resources in air qualitymonitoring networks. Collected data are increasingly available for public andscientific scrutiny over the Internet. However, calibration and quality controlprocedures vary greatly among different cities and along time in a given citylimiting at times the usefulness of the data both for policy and scientificpurposes. Moreover, costly instruments and analytical facilities are too oftenunderexploited due to lack of coordination, including appropriate calibration,and local know-how.

The Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) program of the WorldMeteorological Organization (WMO) in collaboration with local institutions hasdriven over the last two decades a number of background stations addressingchanges in atmospheric composition and climate. Only a fraction of these dataare analyzed. Nowadays there is an overwhelming amount of satellite data thatcan yield quantitative results regarding air quality and climate change. To fullyrealize these data local expertise and observations are crucially needed butlocal communities are generally disconnected from global ones.

We have organizeda workshop in January 9-12 2012, involving leading scientists and local policymakers to evaluate the present situation and act towards the design of anintegrated observing system to assess and forecast air quality in and aroundgrowing South American urban centers. This activity marks the closure of a fiveyear project sponsored by the Inter American Institute on Global ChangeResearch that tackled South American Emissions Megacities and Climate (SAEMC, CRN 2017). It is also a regional activity promoted and sponsored by theinternational Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP),and by the World Meteorological Organization, Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW)Urban Research Meteorology and Environment (GURME).


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