International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction (ICAP/AEROCAST)

ICAP is an international forum for aerosol forecast centers, remote sensing data providers, and lead systems developers to share best practices and discuss pressing issues facing the operational aerosol community. While the dynamical meteorology community has a well developed protocols and near real-time observing systems to support forecasting, the aerosol community is only beginning to organize. Infrastructure and data protocols need to be developed between operational centers in order to fully support this emerging field.


Lidar Data and its use in Model Verification and Data Assimilation: July 12-14, 2016, College Park, MD, USA

Inquiries:  Peter Colarco, Jun Wang

The International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction is a grassroots community of aerosol modelers and data providers that provides a forum to discuss best practices and find optimal common solutions to the challenges of operational global aerosol prediction. ICAP has hosted seven meetings with themes ranging from aerosol observability to aerosol model verification and aerosol ensemble data assimilation and prediction. Some of the meetings have had a strong impact on the development of new aerosol products to offer to the user community, for example the establishment of the ICAP multi-model ensemble (Sessions et al. 2014). Likewise data providers have been engaging actively within the ICAP framework to provide enhanced in situ and groundbased observations of high quality and timeliness to meet the assimilation and verification needs of this community.

The purpose of this meeting is to assess the current status and utility of lidar data for verification and data assimilation in operational aerosol prediction systems. A number of coordinated ground-based lidar networks have come online in recent years, and there have been recent advances in space-based and airborne lidar capabilities. Increasingly there is recognition among data providers of the value of providing lidar products to users in near real-time. Operational prediction centers are now developing techniques to formally assimilate lidar observations into their analyses, and verification activities are ongoing. There is a need for common understanding of the capabilities and limitations of these observations in order for them to be properly used in verification and assimilation efforts. It is an appropriate time to evaluate the current state of the science in the field, share recent progress, and prepare for the future.    Announcement   Meeting PDFs

Assimilation: June 16-19, 2015, Barcelona, Spain

Inquiries:  oriol.jorba@bsc.es, sara.basart@bsc.es

The International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction is a grassroots community of aerosol modellers and data providers which provide a forum to discuss best practices and find optimal common solutions to the challenges of operational global aerosol prediction. ICAP hosted six meetings with themes ranging from aerosol observability to aerosol model verification and aerosol ensemble data assimilation and prediction. Some of the meetings had a strong impact on the development of new aerosol products to offer to the user community, for example the establishment of the ICAP multi-model ensemble (Sessions et al. 2014). Likewise data providers have been engaging actively within the ICAP framework to provide enhanced in-situ and ground-based observations of high quality and timeliness to meet the assimilation and verification needs of this community.

The purpose of this meeting is to assess the current status of the aerosol assimilation at the various centres participating in ICAP and discuss future directions. Product and radiance assimilation has greatly advanced, and many new products have come online specifically for operational and quasi- operation developers. Ground based remote sensing systems are also becoming more attractive to assimilation. Many aerosol developers feel it is an appropriate time to evaluate the current state of the science in the field, share recent progress, and prepare for the future.    Meeting PDFs

Validation: October 21-24, 2014 Boulder, CO

Inquiries:  jeffrey.reid@nrlmry.navy.mil, jensen@ucar.edu

International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction (ICAP) is an ad hoc aerosol numerical modeling working group founded by aerosol modeling developers from the operational Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) centers around the world, initiated in 2010 by the Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey.

The goal of ICAP members is to understand and simulate the behavior of the atmosphere and its constituents on local, regional, and global scales, including its interaction with the ocean, land, cryosphere, and middle atmosphere; to invent, develop, and implement new capabilities and systems for objective environmental analysis and prediction; and to integrate new capabilities into automated systems for assessing risk and analyzing impact of atmospheric conditions.

As operational aerosol models continue to evolve, leveraging collaborations with other recognized world experts in operational forecasting spurs further model and ensemble development; aiding the entire community. Attendance at the ICAP meeting is through invitation by the meeting host and leads, and participants are sent by their respective centers.

The primary goal of the 2014 ICAP meeting is development of an agreement on the complex topic of data verification protocols. The 2014 ICAP meeting will, as traditional, begin with updates of recent, current, and planned activities from each operational aerosol forecasting center. Over the planned meeting days, protocols and methods for the exchange of data among the research groups will be recommended and updated, and large- and small-group discussions on key aerosol topics of mutual concern to the ICAP members will take place. The gathering will end with an understanding for areas of mutual development for the coming year, collaboration on international field experiments, and protocols for validation and data exchanges.   Meeting PDFs

Recent Progress in Aerosol Observability for Global Modeling: November 5 – 8, 2013 Tsukuba City, Ibaraki, Japan

Inquiries:  yatanaka@mri-jma.go.jp

In 2010 aerosol forecast developers from many of the world's forecasting centers met with remote sensing data providers to discuss the aerosol observability issues facing the next generation of aerosol forecast systems. This meeting inaugurated the International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction, a grass roots community to share best practices and voice common concern. The purpose of the first meeting was not to generate a long list of new variables needed by models, but rather to investigate the continuation and further characterization as to what is available now and plan for the future. The key issues brought up in presentations and discussion were those of observational requirements and available data streams as the field develops from research endeavors, which were supported by research satellites, to fully operational entites with rigid system and operational satellite counterparts. Now 3 years later, much has changed in the remote sensing and observation landscape. NPP has launched, MODIS collection 6 is nearing completion, and a host of new lidar systems are in production. Product and radiance assimilation has greatly advanced, and many new products have come online specifically for operational and quasi-operation developers. Ground based remote sensing systems are also becoming more attractive to assimilation. Many aerosol developers feel it is an appropriate time to evaluate the current state of the science in the field, share recent progress, and prepare for the future.   Announcements   Meeting PDFs




Aerosol Emission and Removal Processes: May 14 – 17, 2012, ESA/ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

Inquiries:  Angela.Benedetti@ecmwf.int

This 4th ICAP meeting will focus on issues and recent advances in the description of aerosol processes related to production and removal. Some of these issues were identified at the previous ICAP meeting as crucial to the further development of the forecast and analysis systems. Most forecast “busts” observed in the aerosol forecasts from the ICAP models can in fact be ascribed either to a poor representation of the emissions and/or to the parameterizations related to aerosol sinks (wet deposition, sedimentation, aqueous chemistry, etc.). Some of these issues are also faced by the climate modeling community (i.e. AEROCOM). Some mutually beneficial solutions will be sought through a series of informative invited tutorials, followed by discussions. Challenges presented by highly temporally varying emission sources, such as wildfires, will be discussed. State-of-the-art (NRT) emissions methods will be reviewed. The ICAP meeting will be complemented by a one day workshop on Thursday May 17th on the benefits of present and future satellite observations in aerosol science, modeling and assimilation with presentations by ESA, NASA, JAXA representatives and other international satellite data experts. An update on NPP VIIRS aerosol products will be included. Details will follow.   Announcements   Meetings PDFs




Ensemble Forecasts and Data Assimilation: 11 - 13 May, 2011 Boulder, CO

Inquiries:  peter.r.colarco@nasa.gov

This third meeting of the aerosol forecasting community will focus on the use of ensemble forecasts to improve event predictability. The NWP community has for some time been exploring the potential of multi-model ensembles to enhance understanding of forecast uncertainty (e.g., the WMO TIGGE project). At the same time, the European air quality community has already implemented an operational multi-model ensemble of regional forecasting system to enhance air quality forecast skill, which has been a major achievement both in terms of coordination between different modeling centers and also with the data providers. Meanwhile, the global aerosol community is just beginning to explore the possibility of ensembles (e.g., the “AeroCom Median” model, composed of several independent, deterministic models). So far, however, this latter effort has not been applied to the issue of predictability, but rather has been focused on “climate” applications (e.g., how well the ensemble compares to MODIS over the EOS period). Lessons from the NWP and European AQ communities’ efforts suggest considerations for the aerosol forecasting community, from practical issues such as assembling the multi-model ensemble from disparate forecasting efforts, to optimal methods of creating the multi-model ensemble (e.g., bias correction), issues of ensemble data assimilation, and ultimately the evaluation of the benefit of such a system. This workshop will be an initial foray into these endeavors.   Announcements  Meetings PDFs



Model Verification: 30 September-1 October, 2010 Oxford England (Joint with 9th AEROCOM Workshop)

Inquiries:  angela.benedetti@ecmwf.int

Operational forecast centers have long standing metrics designed to evaluate model performance (e.g., the 500 hPa anomaly). The aerosol forecasting community has yet to agree on applicable metrics and protocols in this regard. In this second ICAP meeting, centers and developers will discuss model metric methods and suitable verification datasets.Establishing common metrics to evaluate model performance is a powerful tool to assess progress in aerosol forecasting capabilities both for individual centers and for the community as a whole.Operational forecast centers have long standing metrics designed to this purpose (e.g., the 500 hPa anomaly). The aerosol forecasting community has yet to agree on applicable metrics and protocols in this regard. Inthis second ICAP meeting, centers and developers will discuss model metric methods and suitable verification datasets.   Meeting Summary   Meeting Participants   Meetings PDFs



Aerosol Observability: 27-29 April, 2010 Monterey CA

Inquiries:  jeffrey.reid@nrlmry.navy.mil

While the last 3 years has seen rapid operational implementation of aerosol and pollution models around the world, the key to the further development of these models is aerosol observing data from satellites and ground stations for model evaluation and data assimilation. This first organizational meeting of ICAP centered on present and future remote sensing observing systems to support aerosol prediction. Participants included ECMWF, ESA, EUMETSAT, FNMOC, GMAO, JAXA, JMA, NCEP, NESDIS, NRL and NASA GMAO, LANCE,and LarC as well as several universities.   Announcements   Meeting Participants   Meetings PDFs