Advances in aerosol assimilation and future perspectives



Recent years have seen the rise of global operational atmospheric composition models for several applications including climate monitoring, air quality forecasting, provision of boundary conditions for regional air quality models, and energy sector applications, to mention a few. Typically global forecasts are provided in the medium-range, up to five days ahead.


Centres with aerosol analysis and forecasting capabilities have invested a considerable amount of effort in exploiting aerosol related observations from spaceborne sensors as well as ground-based networks both for assimilation and verification. For example, ECMWF has developed the capability to run its Integrated Forecast System (IFS) with atmospheric composition variables, thanks to a series of EU-funded projects (GEMS, MACC, MACC-II, MACC-III), and now Copernicus. The composition configuration is at the core of the Copernicus Atmospheric Service (CAMS) which provides operational 4D-Var analyses and forecasts of aerosols and reactive gases. 


Other operational and research centres such as NRL, NASA and JMA, UK MetOffice, to mention a few, run aerosol forecasts and analysis. The collaborative efforts of these centres have culminated in the International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction (ICAP) which maintains a multi-model ensemble system for aerosol forecasts, based on the systems run at the individual participating centres. At the heart of this effort there has been constant dialogue and collaboration with data providers such as space agencies (NASA, ESA, EUMETSAT, JAXA, etc) with the intention of using the datasets in the most meaningful way. 


In this seminar, we will review the state-of-the-art in aerosol analysis by providing an overview of the current status of the aerosol analyses at the various centres with an emphasis on the data used in the assimilation, rather than the specific assimilation approach. Additionally we will provide an outlook on future use of aerosol data for analysis applications based on current and planned missions. 




Dr. Angela Benedetti is a Senior Scientist at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom. She received her master degree in Physics at the University of Rome, “La Sapienza” and earned a PhD in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She joined ECMWF over 18 years ago as a research consultant to work on assimilation of cloud and precipitation information from active sensors. After 2 years, she started working on the precursor programs of the EU Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service whose mission is to provide services related to prediction and monitoring of atmospheric composition. Her role in these projects has been that of developing and maintaining the aerosol assimilation system using satellite data. She has since been at the forefront of aerosol prediction, and has contributed to the enhancement of the field by cofounding the International Cooperative for Aerosol Prediction in collaboration with colleagues from NASA and the US Research Laboratory. She has been serving as expert in several international committees for the World Meteorological Organization and the European Space Agency. She also wrote several contributions in international scientific journals and participated in numerous workshops and seminars. She has pioneered the investigation of the aerosols radiative impacts on the subseasonal-to-seasonal prediction which has been summarized in a recent publication in Monthly Weather Review. She is also a Principal Investigator of ESA-funded activities on assimilation of aerosol reflectance data and lidar data. Dr Benedetti is a campaigner for gender equality and diversity in the workplace. Her blog can be found at She can be contacted at



WebEx Information:


Aerosol and Cloud, Convection and Precipitation (ACCP) Webinar Series - Seminar presented by Dr. Angela Benedetti (ECMWF)

Monday, January 25, 2021

8:00 am | (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) | 1 hr


Meeting number (access code): 199 545 4186


Meeting password: ACCPWEBINAR

Meeting link:

01/25/2021 - 08:00
Dr. Angela Benedetti