Hollingsworth, A, Engelen, RJ, Textor, C, Benedetti, A, Boucher, O, Chevallier, F, Dethof, A, Elbern, H, Eskes, H, Flemming, J, Granier, C, Kaiser, JW, Morcrette, JJ, Rayner, P, Peuch, VH, Rouil, L, Schultz, MG, Simmons, AJ (2008). Toward a monitoring and forecasting system for atmospheric composition: The GEMS project. BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, 89(8), 1147-0.
The Global and Regional Earth System Monitoring Using Satellite and In Situ Data (GEMS) project is combining the manifold expertise in atmospheric composition research and numerical weather prediction of 32 European institutes to build a comprehensive monitoring and forecasting System for greenhouse gases, reactive gases, aerosol, and regional air quality. The project is funded by the European Commission as part of the Global Monitoring of Environment and Security (GMES) framework. GEMS has extended the data assimilation system of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) to include various tracers for which satellite observations exist. A chemical transport model has been coupled to this system to account for the atmospheric chemistry. The GEMS system provides lateral boundary conditions for a set of 10 regional air quality forecast models and global atmospheric fields for use in surface flux inversions for the greenhouse gases. Observations from both in situ and satellite sources are used as input, and the output products will serve users such as policy makers, environmental agencies, the science community, and providers of end-user services for air quality and health. This article provides an overview of GEMS and uses some recent results to illustrate the current status of the project. It is expected that GEMS will grow into a full operational service for the atmospheric component of GMES in the next decade. Part of this transition will be the merge with the Protocol Monitoring for the GMES Service Element: Atmosphere (PROMOTE) GMES project into the Monitoring of Atmospheric Composition and Climate (MACC) project.