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Scope and goal of IGACO-O3

The objectives of IGACO-Ozone can be summarised as follows:

1. Improve access to Ozone and UV radiation data worldwide. This is the main high level objective. In addition to the Data Centres such as WOUDC and GAWSIS there exist numerous data repositories and web pages, from where ozone data can be retrieved. Data policies are different, major data centres do not contain all data and other services are sometimes difficult to find. From scientist point of view a one-step portal would be a desirable long-term goal.

2. Work on promoting the use of homogeneous quality control and documentation in order to guarantee homogeneous quality of data. Most data providers have sufficient quality assessment methods in place. However, due to different standards, quality parameters may differ which complicates intercomparisons and assimilation. Documentation and metadata are often difficult to find (i.e., not available in the same place as the data) or do not exist.

3. Develop modeling / assimilation capabilities and tools that can be used for combining data from different sources when a (three-dimensional time-dependent) global view of the Ozone and UV fields is needed. In addition to the tools, this requires easy access to data and a good understanding of the properties of the different data sets and models. It is fair to note that integrated data products are not optimal for all kinds of studies, but it is foreseen that the use of such products - even in near-real-time - will be more common in the future.

4. Work for ensuring continuity of observations of Ozone, related atmospheric constituents and UV radiation fields. This is a task that requires not only understanding of what is needed but also political support. Thus close communication with entities who hold the mandate of coordination (such as the GAW Science Advisory Groups for Ozone and UV, the WMO Space Programme, the CEOS), as well as agencies who run the observation stations and implement space missions is needed (National Met Services and Research Institutions, ESA, EUMETSAT, NASA, NOAA etc.).