A recent European environmental report details how poor air quality, particularly in urban areas, continues to have a significant economic impact, cutting lives short, increasing medical costs and reducing productivity. With this new forecast, people can now find out about the expected air quality where they live, work or are planning to visit, and help them to make informed choices about the activities they undertake in the hours ahead.
Broadcast on Euronews for the first time on 1 December, the forecast zooms in on different regions, just like the traditional weather bulletins that we are all familiar with. Each major city is featured with an air quality index, from 1 to 5, where 1 is very good and 5 is very poor.
The air quality forecast is part of a newly formed partnership between Euronews and the ECMWF operated Copernicus Services - the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). The aim of this partnership is to make climate change and atmospheric data more applicable in daily lives. Through broadcast and online content, the audience will learn about the impact of climate change on Europe and their own environment, but also how Earth data will help our future.
Everyday, Euronews offers its European viewers air quality forecasts for major European cities. Each city is featured with an air quality index, from 1 to 5 (very good to very poor). Broadcast several times a day with updates every morning and evening, an animated map of Europe shows Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) exclusive air quality data
The collaboration also includes a monthly Climate Update, the first of which was released in November during COP23, the UN climate conference held in Germany. The Climate Update is a one-minute bulletin based on C3S data that highlights a number of the latest stories about our planet’s changing climate.
The first Climate Update looked at the wildfires in Portugal and Spain and the resulting eerie orange-red skies sighted over other parts of Europe. Also included is the monthly C3S temperature map, which most recently shows how temperatures are still on the rise in Europe.
C3S and CAMS are part of the European Commission’s ambitious Copernicus Earth observation programme. Central to Copernicus is the data collected by a series of advanced satellites called ‘Sentinels’. Added to this are data from dozens of other satellites from global organisations and thousands of ground sensors. Altogether Copernicus provides a treasure trove of data about our planet.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is charged with providing atmospheric and climate data to the public through C3S and CAMS, following a full free and open data policy.
C3S covers all components of the climate system, including the atmosphere, land surface, ocean and sea ice. While CAMS collects data on a daily basis and produces air-quality maps, for instance by keeping track of aerosols, greenhouse gases, and monitoring forest fires. Dedicated satellites also keep an eye out on the ozone layer, which keeps us safe from harmful UV light, and on solar radiation as a whole.
Easy-to-read end-products - like maps, charts and graphs - are available online for free to EU and international citizens, scientists, policy makers and entrepreneurs. C3S and CAMS data is used to help mitigate the impact of climate and atmospheric change in areas such as agriculture, energy, shipping and health.