Environmental Knowledge Organisation Laboratory (EKOLab)
Atmospheric Modelling Lab

The group focuses on atmospheric chemistry and dispersion models. The chemistry models used are written by the group and can be run as 0-dimensional (box), 1-dimensional (column) and 3-dimensional (transport/dispersion) models.

The group has developed a global Hg chemistry model called EHMERIT (see publications) which is based on the climate modelECHAM 5. This model is used to investigate global transport pathways, concentration fields, and wet and dry deposition patterns of Hg and its compounds. ECHMERIT has been used for the LRTAP Task Force of Hemispherical Transport of Air Pollution (TF HTAP, see projects) model intercomparison to estimate the impacts of anthropogenic Hg emission reduction scenarios on a global scale. ECHMERIT is also used to provide boundary and initial conditions for regional scale atmospheric Hg chemistry models.

The group currently runs both WRF and WRF-Chem mesoscale models for meteorological and atmospheric chemistry simulations. The WRF simulations are used to provide meteorological input to off-line regional scale atmospheric chemistry and transport models such as CMAQ (see projects), while WRF-Chem has been used to investigate the interactions between complex orography, both local and regional emissions in determining air quality in our local area (see publications). WRF-Chem is currently employed to provide preliminary air quality forecasts within an interdepartmental project, which is aimed at setting up an interoperable system for geo-referenced data in order to provide data to end-users in a format appropriate for their intended use, whether by research scientists or policy makers.

The chemistry box models are very complex and used for the detailed study of chemical and physical processes affecting atmospheric pollutants. The chemistry models linked to the more complex transport/dispersion models need to be less complex for reasons of calculation time. The group makes use of two 25 processor Linux clusters for parallel transport/dispersion/chemistry calculations, while the box models run on Linux PCs.

Geomatic Laboratory (GEO-Lab)

Applications for atmospheric pollution monitoring and modelling are fundamental tools to develop environmental policies oriented to control and possibly reduce pollution impact on ecosystems.

These tools are often based on monitoring systems, which discrepancies in terms of spatial and temporal differences and data availability for very different ecosystems are an important limitation in environmental management. Data organization and model simulations are, therefore, crucial to support policy makers and public participation within any environmental decision-making process as well as for a broad understanding of the environment. However, these data are not always available to the public and are not usually in a format that is understood by the different stakeholders.

In order to standardize protocols and procedure, EU directives (e.g. INSPIRE, Air Quality Directive) and international programs (i.e. GEOSS) have oriented the scientific community to develop advanced interoperable systems able to assure real-time data analysis and dissemination within the scientific community as well as to stakeholders and policy makers.

To coordinate national earth and cross-disciplinary systems for promoting GEOSS and to support the INSPIRE implementation, CNR-IIA launched the interoperable system laboratory aimed to air quality information management and dissemination. The system is based on open-source tools compliant with European standards and oriented to develop an integrated system that facilitate data storage, mining and visualization.

The implemented Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) will hold air quality information collected throughout monitoring campaigns.

Earth and Space Science Informatics - Laboratory (ESSI-Lab)