News

20.11.2020

Illustrating the use of air quality measurements and forecasting

For ECMWF we have produced an explainer animation video about air quality. It was created to be used by ECMWF in presentations to stakeholders, in this case policymakers, to explain how the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) provides consistent and quality-controlled information.

Design & Data were commissioned to produce a short, animated video to explain air quality forecasting and how this may sometimes appear different from local air quality monitoring stations. It describes how it is becoming increasingly important to understand how to interpret the forecasts and the reason behind the difference. It illustrates how both forecasts and localised readings complement each other, helping us to adapt and better manage our daily lives.

The challenge was to convey the key points of representativeness error vs forecast error in a way that could easily be understood. We used the example of a room with a burning fireplace to explain how the room has an overall temperature like an app’s forecast number. Closer to the fireplace will be warmer and the back of the room will be cooler, similar to varying air quality measurements at local monitoring stations. We show how CAMS captures the average air quality of an area in a 10km x 10km grid in a similar way to a weather forecast.

This animation had to keep the same visual style to other explainer videos we have produced for ECMWF but be adapted towards its primary use at a policy level in conferences and meetings with stakeholders. This was achieved mainly through the script and several split screens, as well as the music and the sounds effects, which were used to convey this more serious, formal and informative tone.

In addition to being shared with policymakers, the video was released on Copernicus ECMWF’s social media channels. We are sure it will support ECMWF in its efforts to demonstrate how the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) provides a reliable global forecasting system.

  • Animations