Observing and forecasting the chemical status of the atmosphere and marine environments is vital to maintain healthy ecosystems. Dispersion of hazardous materials such as radioactivity, toxic smoke, volcanic ash, infectious microorganisms, oil spill and conventional air and water pollutants is closely connected with meteorology and oceanography. Thus, timely and accurate predictions of concentration levels of chemicals and nutrients in air and water are of great importance to the responsible authorities striving at limiting the consequences in order to save lives, reduce health consequences and safeguard economical values.

Research and development involve formation of numerical models in addition to improving methods for prediction of transport, diffusion, deposition and transformation of pollutants in air and marine ecosystems. Due to the variety of air- and water-borne tracers, the responsible authorities for emergency preparedness and warning systems involve a number of different agencies and ministries. 

Probability for exceeding the deposition threshold value of 1 kBq/m2 as calculated by DERMA using ENS data.

The numerical models used at the DMI include DERMA, RIMPUFF, Enviro-HIRLAM,CAMx for air pollution modeling, BSH-dmod for oil drift modeling and ERGOM for marine ecosystem modeling as well as various source models. Employing ensemble techniques with DERMA, uncertainties in dispersion prediction can be assessed (cf. figure).

Due to the impact of air pollution on climate change and concerns on marine ecosystem climate change, there is an intimate connection between the detailed air pollution models and marine ecosystem models for real-time forecasting and the coarser resolution climate models.


EnviroChemistry on ECMWF: Enviro-HIRLAM / HARMONIE - Development and Test of an NWP Model System Accounting for Aerosol-Meteorology Interactions (Link: english (external))

Project aims: evaluation and testing of the online integrated Enviro-HIRLAM / HARMONIE modelling systems and sensitivity analyses of feedback mechanisms for chemical weather forecasting and numerical weather prediction. Two main application areas of the integrated modelling to be considered: (i) improved numerical weather prediction with short-term feedbacks of aerosols and chemistry on meteorological variables, and (ii) improved chemical weather forecasting with online integrated meteorological forecast and two-way feedbacks between aerosols/chemistry and meteorology.

DMI’s role: 
improve, apply and evaluate online coupled Enviro-HIRLAM integrated model; sensitivity analyses of feedback mechanisms

FundingECMWF High Performance Computing Project

Period1 Apr 2012 – 31 Dec 2014

Collaboratorscoordinator - Prof. Alexander Baklanov - Danish Meteorological Institute, University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and PhD and MSc students involved into Enviro-HIRLAM/ HARMONIE research and development tasks.

Participants from DMIAlexander Baklanov, Ulrik Korsholm, Xiaohua Yang, Ashraf Zakey, Kristian Pagh Nielsen and Alexander Mahura

EuMetChem COST Action ES1004: European Framework for Online Integrated Air Quality and Meteorology Modelling  (link: english (external)

Project aims: Focus on a new generation of online integrated Atmospheric Chemical Transport and Meteorology (Numerical Weather Prediction and Climate) modelling with two-way interactions between different atmospheric processes including chemistry (both gases and aerosols), clouds, radiation, boundary layer, emissions, meteorology and climate. Two application areas of the integrated modelling are planned to be considered: (i) improved numerical weather prediction and chemical weather forecasting with short-term feedbacks of aerosols and chemistry on meteorological variables, and (ii) two-way interactions between atmospheric pollution/ composition and climate variability/ change.  Establishment of such a European framework (involving also key American experts) will enable the EU to develop world class capabilities in integrated ACT/NWP-Climate modelling systems, including research, education and forecasting.

DMI’s role: Leading EuMetChem COST Action; Core Group and Management Committee Meetings; contributions to WG1 “Strategy and framework for online integrated modelling”, WG2 “Interactions, parameterizations and feedback mechanisms”, WG3 “Chemical data assimilation in integrated model”, WG4 “Evaluation, validation and applications” with Enviro-HIRLAM online integrated meteorology-chemistry model research and development results; organization of young scientist summer school on integrated modelling (Jul 2014, Aveiro, Portugal); hosting short-term scientific missions for young scientists.

FundingEU Coordination Action; total budget – 600 KEu

Period: 1 Apr 2011 – 1 Mar 2015

CollaboratorsCoordinator – Prof. Alexander Baklanov (DMI); COST EU 23 participants (Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK), COST neighboring countries (Ukraine, Russia, Egypt), international partners (USA, Brazil), and international organizations (JRC, ECMWF, EEA)

Participants from DMIAlexander Baklanov, Alexander Mahura, Ulrik Korsholm, Ashraf Zakey and Roman Nuterman


Project aims: The project addresses real-time forecasting of atmospheric dispersion and deposition of radionuclides released from a nuclear installation taking into account the meteorological uncertainties. The objective of the study is to apply the MUD methodology to a realistic setting of the Fukushima accident, and to investigate the implications of the uncertainty estimates for the emergency management.

DMI’s role: 
Coordination and ensemble-statistical application of the DERMA dispersion model.

Funding: Nordic Nuclear Safety Research (NKS)

Period: 2014-2016

CollaboratorsDMI, MET Norway, DEMA, SSM.

Participants from DMIJens Havskov Sørensen (coordinator), Henrik Feddersen, Ulrik Smith Korsholm and Bjarne Amstrup

Ice-nucleating bacteria

Project aims: This phd study investigates the sensitivity of cloud ice production in an NWP model to changes in bacterial ice nucleators and thereby develops a new parameterization of ice probability for usage in NWP models.  

DMI’s role: 
Supervision and model development.

Funding: Aarhus University

Period: 2011- 2014

CollaboratorsUniversity of Aarhus; TROPOS: Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research

Participants from DMI: Ulrik Smith Korsholm, Niels Woetmann Nielsen, Jens Havskov Sørensen and Maher Sahyoun

FP7 MarcoPolo: Monitoring and Assessment of Regional air quality in China using space Observations, Project Of Long-term sino-european co-Operation: (Link (external))

Project aims: Using European and Chinese expertise to improve air quality monitoring, modelling and forecasting over China by improving emission database using satellite data with a focus on emission estimates from space and their refinement for anthropogenic and biogenic sources through spatial downscaling and source sector apportionment. State-of-the-art techniques and recent wide range satellite and in-situ data and GIS information will be applied. New emission inventories will serve as input to air quality modelling on regional and urban scales, and it is expected to improve considerably existing air quality information and forecasts (to be supported by validation and following international standards and recommendations) interactively customized at MarcoPolo website.

DMI’s role: Leading WP5 “Air Quality Modelling an Forecasting”; and contribute to Enviro-HIRLAM modelling of atmospheric pollution from urban to city-scale for selected metropolitan areas in China; validation model results using satellite remote-sensing data; study relationship between air pollution and meteorology/ climate and aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions; evaluation of urban pollution and effects of megacities on the environment (linking with FP7 MEGAPOLI project outcomes); consulting/co-advising PhD students involved into research and application of Enviro-HIRLAM for China.

FundingEU FP7 – Collaborative Project; total budget – 2.9 MEu (DMI - 213 KEu)

Period1 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2016

Collaborators15 partners from 8 countries: Royal Netherlands Meteorological (Coordinator – Dr. Ronald van der A; The Netherlands), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Danish Meteorological Institute, Democritus University of Thrace (Greece), Finnish Meteorological Institute, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (Belgium), National Observatory Athens (Greece), Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, IsardSAT (Spain), London Metropolitan University (UK), Institute of Atmosphere Physics (China), Hefei Institute of Physical Sciences (China), Peking and Tsinghua Universities (China).

Participants from DMIAlexander Mahura, Alexander Baklanov (on leave),  (+Xiaohua Yang, Bjarne Amstrup)

Marine climate effects on primary production around the Faroe Islands 

Project aims: To explore the hydrographical settings and especially the dynamics of the mixed layer (ML) around and on the Faroe shelf. Study the depth and timing of the ML and the relative role of tidal mixing, air-sea heat exchanges and horizontal advection.

DMI’s role: 
Supervisor of PhD student.

Funding: Faroese-Greenland project funded.

Period: March 1th, 2014 - April 1th, 2016.

CollaboratorsFaroese Marine Institute.

Participants from DMITill Rasmussen project leader, Steffen M. Olsen

MESO (MEteorological uncertainty of ShOrt-range dispersion)

Project aims: As shown by the recently completed NKS-B projects MUD and FAUNA, the influence of meteorological uncertainties on long-range atmospheric dispersion calculations can be large, e.g. up to an order of magnitude depending on the weather situation, with significant implications for nuclear emergency preparedness and decision making. The question that the MESO project is going to answer is to what extent this also applies to short-range (mesoscale) dispersion models employed for nuclear emergency preparedness up to about two hundred kilometres from the source.

The assessment of such uncertainties is facilitated by recent developments in numerical weather prediction (NWP) modelling through the use of ensemble methodology. The computer resource demanding procedures are now being, or are planned to be, implemented at a number of national weather services. This development enables operational quantitative calculation of uncertainties of the concentration and deposition patterns from accidental releases of radionuclides to be used by nuclear decision-support systems (DSSs), which thereby provide a more comprehensive basis for the decision making.

Short-range atmospheric dispersion models differ from long-range models not only by the use of finer resolution terrain and land-use data, but also by the fact that short-range models may utilize weather radar data for simulation of wet deposition of radionuclides. Obviously, observational data, e.g. from radars, can be used for hindcasting, but these data, which are expected to represent the precipitation intensity more accurately than NWP model data, are useful for nuclear emergency preparedness in the period of time until radiological monitoring data have become available. However, there are a number of uncertainties associated with such use of weather radar data. These include the use of parameterization of the precipitation rate depending on the attenuation of the reflected radar signal, filtering of false radar echoes arising from e.g. clutter or flocks of birds, precipitation from low clouds not being registered by the radar beam, and precipitation evaporating before reaching ground. A new possobility is facilitated by the next-generation dual-pole Doppler radars, namely observed distinction between rain and snow which can have important consequences for short-range modelling since deposition of radionuclides differs substantially between rain and snow.

Thus, the MESO project has two work packages: one devoted to the study of uncertainties of short-range atmospheric dispersion forecasting involving the use of NWP model data only, the other focusing on hindcasting including the combined use of NWP model data and weather radar data.

DMI's role: Coordination, ensemble-statistical application of the RIMPUFF short-range dispersion model, generation of precipitation intensity from weather radar data and description og uncertainties and potential errors.

FundingNordic Nuclear Safety Research (NKS)

Period: 2016 - 2017

CollaboratorsDMI, DEMA, SSM, NRPA, DTU Nutech, DTU Wind Energy

Participants from DMIJens Havskov Sørensen (coordinator), Henrik Feddersen, Bjarne Amstrup, Rashpal Gill, Martin Sørensen, Thomas Bøvith


Project aims: The MetNet working group is created with the objective of improving co-operation between Members of NordMet in the area of nuclear emergency preparedness

DMI’s role: 

Funding: Nordic Nuclear Safety Research (NKS)

Period: 2014-2016

CollaboratorsDMI, IMO, MET Norway, SMHI, FMI.

Participants from DMIJens Havskov Sørensen (coordinator) and Bjarne Amstrup


Project aims: Ensemble statistical methods will be developed for application to atmospheric dispersion scenarios involving hazardous pollutants, e.g. radioactivity from accidental releases to the atmosphere. Thereby, uncertainties of predicted concentration and deposition patterns can be derived enhancing the decision-support for the responsible authorities.  

DMI’s role: 
Coordination and development of ensemble-statistical methodology.

Funding: Nordic Nuclear Safety Research (NKS)

Period: 2012-2014

CollaboratorsDMI, MET Norway, DEMA, SSM.

Participants from DMIJens Havskov Sørensen (coordinator), Henrik Feddersen, Ulrik Smith Korsholm and Bjarne Amstrup

Nordic CarboNord: Impact of Black Carbon on Air Quality and Climate in Northern Europe and Arctic

Project aims: are to provide new information on distribution and effects of black carbon in Northern Europe and Arctic, evaluate the reliability of related model-predictions, and suggest the policy-relevant approaches of reducing the climate- and air quality forcing by black carbon.


DMI's role: simulations with regional on-line integrated meteorology-chemistry model Envire-HIRLAM and studies of two-way interactions between pollutants and meteorological / climate process for the Nordic countries / European Arctic.

Funding: NordForsk - Research Project; total budget - 1.58 Mnok (DMI/UoC - 300 Knok)

Period: 1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2016.

Collaborators: 5 partners from 4 Nordic countries: Finnish Meteorological Institute (Coordinator - Prof. Mikhail Sofiev; Finland), Swedish Meteorology and Hydrology Institute, Norwegian Meteorologiacal Institute, University of Århus (Denmark), Danish Meteorological Institute.

Participants from DMIAlexander Mahura, Alexander Baklanov (on leave), Bent Hansen Sass and Bjarne Amstrup, (+ UoC - Alexander Kurganskiy, Roman Nuterman, Eigil Kaas)

Nordic CRAICC-PEEX: CRyosphere-Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing arctic Climate - Pan Eurasian EXperiment: (Link (external))

Project aims: are to strengthen collaboration between Nordic, Russian and Chinese key investigators and corresponding institutes in the PEEX frameworks; to make detailed design enabling long-term, top-level research activities in PEEX; to build direct links and to establish young researchers training and short-term exchange between the institutes. PEEX is a new large-scale initiative for conducting Arctic and boreal climate changes research in order to answer global grand challenges and to set up a process for planning and establishing of a world-class long-term, coordinated observations and modeling research programme focusing in the Pan Eurasian region, especially to cover ground-based, airborne and satellite observations. PEEX involves scientists from various disciplines, experimentalists and modelers, and international research projects funded by EU-Russian-Chinese funding programmes or organizations.

DMI’s role: Co-coordination; development of joint pilot studies for long-term research activities, PEEX scientific plan, research proposals; participations in join CRAICC_PEEX workshops and organization of workshop on climate change for Arctic seas and shipping; training / consulting of young researchers with Enviro-HIRLAM/HARMONIE research and development.

FundingNordForsk - Top-level Research Initiative (TRI); total budget - 2.75 Mnok (DMI - 325 Knok)

Period1 Jan 2014 - 31 Dec 2015.

Collaborators26 partners from 7 countries: 9 EU partners - University Helsinki (Coordinator - Prof. Markku Kulmala; Finland), Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Stockholm University (Sweden), University of Århus (Denmark), University of Iceland, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (Norway), Danish Meteorological Institute,World Meteorological Organization (Switzerland), and 17 Russian partners - Moscow State University, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, AEROCOSMOS, Institute of Geography RAS, Institute of Atmospheric Optics SB RAS, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Nizhniy Novgorod State University, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Kola Science Center, and other institutes of Siberian Branch of Ras.

Participants from DMIAlexander Mahura, Alexander Baklanov (on leave), Annabelle Lund, Martin Stendel, Jun She and Xiaohua Yang (+ Jens H. Sørensen, Bjarne Amstrup, Niels W. Nielsen)

Nordic CRUCIAL “Critical steps in understanding land surface atmosphere interactions: from improved knowledge to socioeconomic solutions”

Project aims: are continuing (after pilots-themes of the CRAICC-PEEX project) and strengthening research activities in understanding land surface atmosphere interactions and involving key Nordic and Russian research organizations of atmosphere-cryosphere research, research infrastructure facets, and linking further to socio-economical analysis; focusing on research and infrastructure development, science education activity - capability building - mobility.

DMI's role: contribute to research and infrastructure development, and science education activity - capability building – mobility, realization of the PEEX scientific plan, research proposals, participation in join CRUCIAL events, training/ consulting of young researches with Enviro-HIRLAM/ HARMONIE research and development and in particular: for urbanization processes impact on changes in urban weather and climate on urban-subregional-regional scales with contribution to assessment studies; for effects of various feedback mechanisms on aerosol and cloud formation and radiative forcing on urban-regional scales for better predicting extreme weather events with contribution to early warning systems; for GIS estimating of pollution from continuous emissions and industrial accidents for better assessment and decision making.

Funding: NordForsk – Top-Level Research Initiative (TRI); total budget – 2.964 Mnok (DMI - 327 Knok)

Period: 1 Aug 2016 – 31 Dec 2017

Collaborators: 16 partners from 4 Nordic countries and Russia: 8 partners - University Helsinki (Coordinator – Prof. Markku Kulmala; Finland), Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Stockholm University (Sweden), University of Århus (Denmark), Lund University (Sweden) Finnish Meteorological Institute, Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (Norway), Danish Meteorological Institute, and 8 Russian partners - Moscow State University, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Tver State University, Tumen State University, AEROCOSMOS, High School of Economics, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Institute of Atmospheric Optics SB RAS.

Participants from DMIAlexander MahuraRossella FerrettiKristian P. NielsenNiels W. Nielsen 

Nuclear and chemical emergency preparedness

Project aims: Nuclear and chemical emergency preparedness for the Danish Emergency Management Agency.

DMI’s role: Model development.

Funding: DEMA and DMI.

Period: 1992 - ongoing.

Collaborators:DMI, DEMA.

Participants from DMIJens Havskov Sørensen (coordinator) and Bjarne Amstrup

OPEC (Operational Ecology) (Link: marine-opec.eu)

Project aims: The OPEC project (Operational Ecology) develops a new generation of operational marine ecosystem forecast tool. The EU-granted project targets at the development for the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the North-East Atlantic Sea, and the Baltic Sea. DMI, along with DTU-AQUA and DMU, is responsible for the Baltic Sea. The project is coordinated by Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

DMI’s role: 
The lower trophic level in the Baltic Sea.

Funding: EU PF7.

Period: January 1th, 2012 - December 31th, 2014.

Collaborators: SMHI SE-601 76 Norrköping Sweden, Brockmann consult GMBH, PML applications Ltd, HCMR Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, OGS Instituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale and DTU Danmarks Tekniske Universitet.

Participants from DMIJun She, Zhenwen Wan and Tian Tian. Weiwei involved until Jan. 1st, 2014.

PEGASOS: Pan-European Gas-Aerosols-Climate Interaction Study  (Link (external)

Project aims: are to quantify the magnitude of regional to global feedbacks between atmospheric chemistry and a changing climate and to reduce the corresponding uncertainty of the major ones, and to identify mitigation strategies and policies to improve air quality while limiting their impact on climate change.

DMI’s role: improve and apply online coupled Enviro-HIRLAM integrated model with two-way cloud-aerosol feedbacks for studies of large-scale climate change impact on regional atmospheric composition, air quality, and micro-climate.

FundingFP7 Large Scale Integrating Project; total budget – 7 MEu (UoC/DMI - 160 KEu)

Period: 1 Jan 2011 – 31 Dec 2014.

Collaborators26 partners from 15 countries: coordinator - Prof. Spyros Pandis - Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece), Research Centre Jülich (Germany), University of Helsinki (Finland), University of Leicester (UK), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (Italy), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland), University of Lund Universitet (Sweden), Wageningen University and Research Centre (Netherlands), National University of Ireland, University of Copenhagen  / Danish Meteorological Institute (Denmark), Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Joint Research Center of EU Commission (Belgium), Max Planck Institute (Germany), Natural Environment Research Council (UK), Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland), Stockholm University (Sweden), University of Leeds (UK), Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (Germany), Climate Service Center (Germany), AirEl (Estonia), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria), Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, University Joseph Fourier (France)

Participants from DMIAlexander Baklanov (+Roman Nuterman)

Time series analysis of arctic tropospheric ozone as short lived climate force

Project aims: Investigation of the long time series from Sodankylä, Ny Ålesund, Ittoqqortoormiit and Pituffik to investigate the tropospheric content of ozone to determine a baseline for the arctic tropospheric ozone through the last 25 years. Determination is important if a long term monitoring program is established for short lived climate components.

DMI’s role: 
Preparation of the time series for which DMI is responsible (Ittoqqortoormiit and Pituffik) and statistical analysis.

Veterinary emergency preparedness

Project aims: Veterinary emergency preparedness for the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

DMI’s role: Model development.

Funding: DVFA and DMI.


CollaboratorsDMI, DTU Wind Energy, DVFA.

Participants from DMIJens Havskov Sørensen (coordinator)