ATMOS: Atmospheric Sciences Information Resource
(Western Siberian Lowlands, Lake Baikal region)

Project Summary Description

The overall scope and objective of the ATMOS project is to develop, and make available to the international research community, environmental managers, and the interested public, a bilingual Internet portal for the domain of Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, and the related application domain of air quality assessment and management.

The Internet increasingly functions as the backbone of international collaborative research, and primarily the communication between research teams. There is, however, also a vast potential for the efficient access to, and exchange of research data and tools. But while the Internet offers an enormous and fast growing amount of information, this information is largely unstructured and of an anecdotic nature. Searching for any specific information and data is cumbersome, and the quality of any data found often doubtful.

ATMOS wants to address this problem by offering to professionals, students and the general public access to integrated thematic information, experimental data, analytical tools and models, case studies, and related information and educational resources compiled, structured, and edited by the partners into a coherent and consistent thematic information resource. While offering the usual components of a thematic site such as link collections, user group registration, discussion fora, news section etc., the site will be distinguished by its scientific information services and tools: on-line models and analytical tools, and data collections and case studies together with tutorial material.

The main topic to be addressed is Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry, which includes Atmospheric Spectroscopy, Chemistry, Aerosols, Dynamics, Radiation and Solar- Terrestrial Relationships, and the applied domains of Air Quality Assessment and Management, Modelling, and Environmental Impact Assessment.

While primarily methodology oriented and of a generic nature, many of the data sets and examples will be based on two geographical areas, Lake Baikal and West Siberian Lowland. By combining these extensive data sets from Siberia with comparable data collections from other countries (e.g., in Europe in the EUROTRAC project or in the US provided by agencies such as NASA, NOAA or the US EPA) a unique added value as the basis for further international collaboration can be generated.

The bilingual (Russian and English) scientific WWW-site ATMOS is designed as an integrated set of distributed but coordinated topical web sites, combining classical multi-media information with research databases, models and analytical tools for on-line use, and visualisation. Each site is dedicated to one of the main topics, consists of data, models and visualisation functions. To guarantee easy access and reliability of use, the main site at the IAO in Tomsk and the INM in Moscow will be mirrored by BADC in the UK and ESS in Austria.

Objectives

The main scientific objectives of the project are:
  1. To design a concept and architecture for a scientific thematic WWW site for atmospheric sciences as a distributed information system with interactive analytical functions, based on Internet technologies and a flexible client-server integration of information resources such as data collections, simulation models, geographic information system, background information and a multi-media user interface;
  2. To develop software tools, meta data, and data structures for the efficient processing, storage, retrieval and presentation and visualisation of environmental data of high dimensionality on the Internet;
  3. To prepare and to integrate into such a thematic scientific portal the following information resources:
    • Extensive databases containing results of atmospheric and related measurements performed by researchers from partner institutes in Siberia during numerous field campaigns as well as data of regional atmospheric and environmental characteristics; inventories of public domain models and tools, together with the necessary documentation and data sets, contacts, application examples, etc;
    • Simulation models and related analytical tools implemented at dedicated computing centers for on-line simulation and statistical analysis of the atmosphere and its constituents' behaviour;
    • A multidisciplinary information system which will also include tutorial components (on-line lectures and tests) oriented to students and the general public;
    • A detailed description and geographic information systems (GIS) of the primary case study areas (Lake Baikal region and West Siberia Lowland region);
  4. To provide to the scientific community remote access to large collections of data and effective tools for their usage in atmospheric and environmental studies, as well as to extensive resources for the education of students and post graduate students;
  5. To link advanced simulation tools including 3D climatic and "atmosphere-vegetation-snow-soil" models to regional GIS and atmospheric, climatic and environmental data and raise environmental understanding and awareness in the region;
  6. To provide environmental managers from public institutions, industry, but also NGOs and the interested public, with valuable background information, data, and easy-to-use tools for environmental analysis;
  7. To provide the local population with reliable and easily accessible information and forecasts of atmospheric, climatic and environmental conditions.


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