World Environment Day: Global air quality data and forecasts from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) are now accessible on Windy.
Following a partnership agreement, over 800,000 users of the popular weather application, Windy, can now access global air quality information provided by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). CAMS is implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Union.
As a result of the collaboration, CAMS’ forecasts of the surface concentrations of the two main air pollutants, nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, have been integrated into Windy. In addition, CAMS Aerosol Optical Depth forecasts are also featured on the app, allowing users to track the paths of plumes of fine particulate matter from a variety of sources around the planet, including dust, biomass burning, pollution, sea sprays and volcanic eruptions. Finally, CAMS’ forecast of the Earth’s ozone layer are also available in Windy.
Windy already uses information from ECMWF to provide its users with a range of weather parameters including wind, rain, lightning and cloud types. Air quality is a major concern throughout the world, contributing to around 400,000 premature deaths across the European Union each year, and easy access to air quality forecasts is now more important than ever before. Windy’s global reach will help bring much-needed CAMS air quality data to businesses, governments, organisations and individuals throughout the world via its simple and highly-visual application.
Following the new initiative with CAMS, Windy.com is one of the first of its kind to offer consistent air quality and winds forecasts in a fast, clear and understandable animation format, providing easy-to-access insight for businesses and individuals into the air we breathe. Visualising winds and air pollution at the same time is highly relevant, as winds drive the transport of pollutants and the absence of wind is a key factor for the accumulation of pollutants and the development of pollution episodes. Just like CAMS data, the app is provided free of charge to everyone without any advertising. It is available on all platforms including iOS, Android and desktop.
This is just one of a number of related projects supported by CAMS, which was set up as part of the European Union’s Copernicus Earth Observation Programme. The service provides freely-available global data on air quality, solar energy, greenhouse gas emissions, the ozone layer and more. CAMS combines computer models of the atmosphere, similar to those used for weather forecasts, with satellite and in-situ observations to provide daily forecasts of the composition of the air throughout the world.
Ivo Lukačovič, founder of Czech-based start-up Windy, comments: “Following our partnership agreement with CAMS, we are delighted to have completed the integration process to include much-needed air quality data from the organisation. At Windy, we are committed to providing information in a clear format that everyone can understand and even with increasing amounts of data to process and display, the app is incredibly fast as well as being user-friendly.”
Vincent-Henri Peuch, Head of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, adds: “We are delighted that Windy has now integrated CAMS data, so that its many users can now access our global and European air quality forecasts. To help inform, mobilise and eventually combat air pollution, air quality forecasts need to become as common as weather forecasts. The way Windy visualizes data from CAMS helps people to understand that air pollution is not simply a local problem, but can be transported for hundreds or thousands of kilometres by winds. On Windy, users and businesses can easily follow where air pollution is transported and where it accumulates.”