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History of the Proposal

Weather natural hazards, the environment and climate change are of concern to all of us. It is especially essential to understand how human activities might impact nature. Hence, monitoring, research, and forecasting is of the utmost importance. Furthermore, climate change and pollution of the environment do not obey national borders; so, international collaboration on these issues is indeed extremely important.

In the future, increases in computer power and understanding of physical processes pave the way for developing integrated models of the Earth system and gives the possibility of including interactions between atmosphere, environment, climate, ocean, cryosphere and ecosystems.

Therefore, the development of integrated Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and Atmospheric Chemical Transport (ACT) models is an important step in this strategic direction and it is a promising way of developing future atmospheric simulation systems leading to a new generation of models. The EC COST Action 728 "Enhancing Mesoscale Meteorological Modelling Capabilities for Air Pollution and Dispersion Applications" (2004-2009) started to identify the requirements and propose recommendations for the European strategy for integrated mesoscale NWP-ACT modelling capability. The COST728 model overview (Baklanov et al., 2007) shows a surprisingly large (at least 10) number of on-line coupled MetM and ACTM model systems already being used in Europe. However, these developments are realising on different platforms separately by local research groups in different countries and there is no any coordination of these efforts within Europe (in comparison with the USA, for example).

Almost 10 years ago DMI initiated developing an on-line integrated NWP-ACT modelling system, now called Enviro-HIRLAM (Environment – HIgh Resolution Limited Area Model), which includes two-way interactions between meteorology and air pollution for NWP applications and chemical weather forecasting. Recently organisation of the Chemical branch in the HIRLAM international consortium (, where this model is considered as the baseline model, was initiated. The Enviro-HIRLAM became an international community model starting January 2009 with several external European organisations joining the research and development team (e.g., from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; University of Tartu, Estonia; University of Vilnius, Lithuania; Russian State Hydro-Meteorological University; Tomsk Stat University, Russia; Odessa State Environmental University, Ukraine) with further participants coming.

During 2002-2005, EC FP5 project FUMAPEX ( developed a new generation Integrated Urban Air Quality Information and Forecasting System and implemented such a system in six European cities. The new EC FP7 project MEGAPOLI (2008-2011) (, coordinated by DMI, is also focusing on further developments of integrated systems and studies of interactions between atmospheric pollution from megacities and meteorological and climatic processes.

To harmonise this work in different countries the first workshop to share and analyse international experience in integrated modelling worldwide was organised. The workshop on "Integration of meteorological and chemical transport models" ( was arranged at DMI (Copenhagen, Denmark) on 21-23 May 2007. It was organised in the framework of the COST Action 728 and in cooperation with the Nordic Network on Fine-scale Atmospheric Modelling (NetFAM). Almost 50 participants, including invited experts in integrated modelling and young scientists, from 20 countries attended this event to discuss the experience and further perspectives of coupling air quality and meteorology in fine-scale models. The workshop was aimed at joining both NWP and air quality modellers to discuss and make recommendations on the best practice and strategy for further developments and applications of integrated and coupled modelling systems "NWP and Meso-Meteorology - Atmospheric Chemical Transport". The main emphasis was on fine-resolution models applied for local chemical weather forecasting and considering feedback mechanisms between meteorological and atmospheric pollution (e.g. aerosols) processes.

As a follow-up a young scientist summer school and workshop on "Integrated Modelling of Meteorological and Chemical Transport Processes / Impact of Chemical Weather on Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate Modelling" was organised in the framework of the COST Action ES0602 and NorFA by DMI and Russian State Hydrometeorological University during 7-15 July 2008 in Russia.

One of the key outcomes of the recently finalized COST-728 is to suggest a European strategy for integrated atmospheric Chemical Transport (ACT) / Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) and Climate (CLIM) modelling that would result in a European framework (see: Based on this and recent discussions with interested researchers at workshops held in Lecce, Copenhagen, Reading, Geneva and within ECMWF and GURME of WMO a new COST Action is suggested.

The study demonstrated the high importance and the European scale of this previously ignored problem and formed an international consortium of 27 institutes collaborating within the scope of this project. It also provided strong evidence on the necessity of wide-range coordinated network for the integrated assessment of the existing knowledge and formulation of mid-to-long-term common research agenda. Summarising these findings and needs for integration, this core group has initiated the current COST Action proposal.

The proposal was circulated among the scientists who, to the best of knowledge of the initiative group, would be interested in the Action, and has received strong support. The Action goals, means of contribution, work agenda and other related matters have been discussed at dedicated sessions and working meetings on the GMES MACC General Assembly at ECMWF in January 2010 (Reading, UK), on the WMO-COST international workshop on ‘Mesoscale modelling for air pollution applications - achievements and challenges’ in February 2010 (Geneva, Switzerland), on the EGU General Assembly in April 2010 (Vienna, Austria) and on the COST ES0602 ‘Chemical Weather’ workshop at EEA in May 2010 (Copenhagen, Denmark).