BSC leads the InDust-International Network to encourage the use of monitoring and forecasting dust products

14 March 2018

InDust is a COST Action in the framework of the European COST Programme and has the participation of 31 countries and the WMO.

Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is the Grant Holder of InDust, a COST Action in the framework of the European COST Programme that aims to encourage the use of monitoring and forecasting dust products. BSC researcher Sara Basart, from the Earth Sciences department, is the Chair of this project that has a duration of four years.

InDust aims to establish a network involving research institutions, service providers and potential end users of information on airborne dust. Because airborne dust transport has multi- and trans-disciplinary effects at local, regional and global scales, InDust gathers a multidisciplinary group of experts on aerosol measurements, regional aerosol modelling, stakeholders and social scientists. The project will coordinate and harmonise the process of transferring dust observation and prediction data to users as well as to assist the diverse socio-economic sectors affected by the presence of high concentrations of airborne mineral dust. These objectives are aligned with the mission of the WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS) programme, in which BSC hosts one of the nodes together with AEMET, and are part of the  AXA Chair Programme on Sand and Dust Storms  hosted by BSC and supported by the AXA Research Fund.

Airborne dust plays a significant role in different aspects of weather, climate and atmospheric chemistry and represent a serious hazard for the health, property, environment and economy of many countries close to source regions. Understanding, managing and mitigating dust risks and effects requires fundamental and cross-disciplinary knowledge. Over the last few years, numerical prediction and observational products from ground- and satellite platforms have become prominent at several research and operational weather centres due to growing interest from diverse stakeholders, such as solar energy plant managers, health professionals, aviation and policy makers. Current attempts to transfer tailored products to end-users are not coordinated, and the same technological and social obstacles are tackled individually by all different groups, a process that makes the use of data slow and expensive.

At present, the InDust Management Committee is composed of 28 COST countries, three COST Near-Neighbour Countries and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Moreover, InDust also accounts with the participation of a number of researchers of International Partner Countries (IPC) from Africa, America and Asia.

BSC hosts the first InDust Joint Working Group meeting on 14 and 15 March. This meeting aims to build the pillars and to discuss the activities and scientific goals for the next years. The meeting is built around sessions of discussion and searches to know about the ongoing activities within the network of participants.

About COST Actions

COST is an EU-funded programme that enables researchers to set up their interdisciplinary research networks in Europe and beyond. These networks, called 'COST Actions', promote international coordination of nationally-funded research. COST provides funds for organising conferences, meetings, training schools, short scientific exchanges or other networking activities in a wide range of scientific topics. By creating open spaces where people and ideas can grow, we unlock the full potential of science.