Free course explains how air quality is monitored and forecast

Air quality, specifically the danger to human health caused by breathing polluted air, has been a topic of increasing concern in recent years.

Thursday, 01 November 2018

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A free, five-week online course harnesses the expertise of specialists in the field of atmospheric composition from throughout Europe and beyond for an in-depth look at technologies used to monitor and forecast air quality, threats to the atmosphere and the implications for policy and decision makers.

The “Monitoring Atmospheric Composition” massive open online course (MOOC), is a joint project from EUMETSAT (the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites), the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

Topics covered are: Earth’s atmosphere and the challenges we face; large-scale changes in ozone and greenhouse gases; pollution, air quality and health; long-range transport of air pollutants; and policies to maintain our life-support system in the future.

“The course will show how observations of the Earth’s atmosphere are made – from space and on Earth – and how these are fed into supercomputers to produce forecasts of air quality,” EUMETSAT Training Manager Mark Higgins said.

"The course will show how observations of the Earth’s atmosphere are made"

Dr Mark Higgins

“It will also introduce participants to freely available atmospheric monitoring data from EUMETSAT and Copernicus and explore the crucial role played by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

“Practical examples of how these data are used will be illustrated through real-world case studies.”

The course is presented by physicist and broadcaster Dr Helen Czerski from University College London, with EUMETSAT’s Dr Rosemary Munro and CAMS’ Dr Mark Parrington the lead educators, with support from Dr Higgins.

Other organisations involved in the development of the course are the University of Leicester, King’s College London, Météo-France, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the University of Bremen, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

More information can be obtained from the EUMETSAT website

The course will be provided by FutureLearn. It runs for five weeks and is available over 15 weeks, starting from 5 November.

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