The air quality of urban megacities has been studied several times over the past few decades. These studies have used airborne and ground-based platforms usually to measure basic quantities such as ozone, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, ozone, emitted organic compounds, and aerosol physical and optical properties. More recent studies have included measurements of oxygenated organic compounds and aerosol composition, which have led to improved understanding of atmospheric oxidation processes. In order to advance knowledge further, the ACROSS project is proposed to involve conducting a multi-disciplinary, multi-platform, comprehensive field campaign to gather more information about the atmospheric chemical and physical processes as the Paris urban plume is impacted by emissions from nearby forest environments. The observational data collected will be used along with state-of-the-art numerical models to expose previous incomplete understanding and potentially unknown chemical and physical processes that will improve representation of the atmosphere in models and will enhance model predictive capabilities.
While details of this campaign are evolving, it is envisioned that there will be a least one supersite located in a forest within about 50 km of central Paris. This site would consist of a tower for sampling a wide variety of atmospheric constituents. These data would be combined with additional observations from aircraft, balloons and mobile laboratories to develop a temporal and spatial description of the evolving urban-biogenic mixture. A schematic diagram of the concept is shown in the entry gallery.
Key activities over the next several months include deciding on a location for the supersite and developing the infrastructure to support the project, involving interested scientists, companies, and agencies in the project, and identifying key platforms and instruments needed to provide the data necessary to advance science on this topic.
ACROSS is one of the first projects selected under the “Make Our Planet Great Again” (MOPGA) initiative announced by President Emmanuel Macron to attract foreign scientists to work in France.
The ACROSS project will be presented in a townhall meeting at this year’s EGU meeting in Austria. There will be a brief presentation summarizing the project followed by considerable time for questions. If you are interested in atmospheric composition and air quality (and related topics), you are welcome to come to this meeting and become involved in the development and execution of the ACROSS project.
For questions before or after the townhall meeting, please contact Christopher Cantrell.