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EU COST Action on airborne Dust

by Enric Terradellas last modified Oct 17, 2017 02:41 PM

EU COST Actions are a flexible, fast, effective and efficient networking instrument for researchers, engineers and scholars to cooperate and coordinate nationally funded research activities. COST Actions allow European researchers to jointly develop their own ideas in any science and technology field.

CA16202 - International Network to Encourage the Use of Monitoring and Forecasting Dust Products is among the 35 new Actions to start end 2017. As far as now, 24 countries have already signed the Action's Memorandum of Understanding.

The network is expected to strongly cooperate with the WMO SDS-WAS and to lead to improvements in the products delivered by the Barcelona Dust Forecast Center, which is the Centre designated by the WMO to generate and distribute operational dust forecasts to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe.


Sand and Dust Storms (SDS) are extreme meteorological phenomena that generate significant amounts of airborne mineral dust particles. SDS play a significant role in different aspects of weather, climate and atmospheric chemistry and represent a serious hazard for life, health, property, environment and economy. Understanding, managing and mitigating SDS risks and effects requires fundamental and cross-disciplinary knowledge.

Over the last few years, numerical prediction and observational products from ground- and satellite platforms have become prominent at several research and operational weather centres due to growing interest from diverse stakeholders, such as solar energy plant managers, health professionals, aviation and policy makers. Current attempts to transfer tailored products to end-users are not coordinated, and the same technological and social obstacles are tackled individually by all different groups, a process that makes the use of data slow and expensive.

The overall objective of the proposed Action is to establish a network involving research institutions, service providers and potential end users of information on airborne dust. Because, airborne dust transport has multi- and trans-disciplinary effects at local, regional and global scales; the present Action involves a multidisciplinary group of international experts on aerosol measurements, regional aerosol modelling, stakeholders and social scientists. The Action will search to coordinate and harmonise the process of transferring dust observation and prediction data to users as well as to assist the diverse socio-economic sectors affected by the presence of high concentrations of airborne mineral dust.

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