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ALANIS Final Workshop

14 February 2012

Determining the role of the Eurasian boreal region is essential in understanding the global Earth system as it represents the largest terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. The size and remoteness of boreal Eurasia, however, pose a challenge to quantification of radiative, hydrological, and biogeochemical processes and their feedbacks to regional and global climate. Moreover, human activities and climate changes are thought to have altered the natural equilibrium of the whole region, thus strengthening the need for an effective monitoring of surface-atmosphere exchange interactions.

In the last few years, Earth Observation (EO) data have demonstrated the potential to become a major tool for estimating key variables and characterizing main processes governing the land-atmosphere interface over the extremely wide and often unreachable northern areas of boreal Eurasia. In such context, the ESA’s Support To Science Element(STSE) in collaboration with iLEAPS(the land-atmosphere core project of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, IGBP)has launched the ALANIS project (Atmosphere-LANd Interaction Study) to advance towards the development and validation of novel EO-based multi-mission products and their integration into suitable land-atmosphere coupled models responding directly to the specific scientific requirements of the iLEAPS community.

In addition, the ALANIS aimed at enhancing the coordination and collaboration between EO researchers and Earth system scientists and modellers. Indeed, an effective synergy among these different communities of scientists represents an asset and is expected to drive improved capabilities of analysis and investigation.

The ALANIS study enclosed three different projects addressing the following issues:

The three projects have been kicked off between March and April 2010 and all of them are going to be completed by the early beginning of 2012. Accordingly, in order to discuss their outcomes and collecting feedbacks and recommendations for future activities, ESA and iLEAPS are organising the ALANIS Final Workshop, which will take place at Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Potsdam (Germany)(please click here to see the venue location in Google Maps), Tuesday 14th February 2012.

In particular, the objectives of the workshop are:

Please note that the workshop is organized back-to-back with the final workshop of the ESA PERMAFROST project (whose aim is to define, demonstrate and validate, permafrost monitoring information service from local to large scale, mainly towards climate change studies and addressing the pan-boreal/arctic zone), which will take place at the same venue from 15th to 17th February 2012.

For registering to the ALANIS Final Workshop, please send an email (subject “ALANIS Final Workshop registration”) to Mattia Marconcini at ESA (

Directions to Potsdam from Berlin Airports
Potsdam can be easily reached by public transport from the Berlin airports (Tegel or Schönefeld). Busses and trains provide a quick and comfortable connection.

Travelling from Airport Berlin-Tegel to Potsdam:
If you arrive at Berlin-Tegel airport, the quickest way to get to Potsdam is by bus and then by the S-Bahn. The bus stop is in front of the main entrance of the airport. Buses 109 or X9 will take you directly to Zoologischer Garten railway station (Direction: S+U Zoologischer Garten). At Zoologischer Garten railway station take the S-Bahn S7 to Potsdam (it is a direct city train, leaving every 10 minutes). The S-Bahn journey takes 40 minutes. Please calculate 70-90 min for the entire journey.
Tickets: Buy a single ticket or a day ticket for zones Berlin ABC. The tickets are valid in Berlin and Potsdam. You can buy a ticket from a bus driver or from a ticket machine on the S-Bahn platform.

Travelling from Airport Berlin-Schönefeld to Potsdam:
There is a direct train (Regionalbahn) connecting the Berlin-Schönefeld airport with Potsdam (RB22 direction Potsdam Hbf). Potsdam is the last station on this train and the train leaves every hour. The journey takes 60 min.
Tickets: They can be purchased on the platform from a ticket machine.

A number of rooms have been booked at attractive rates (single room 70 Euro incl. breakfast, double rooms 85 EUR incl. breakfast) in the Mercure Hotel Potsdam ( This hotel is close to the workshop venue (about 20 minutes walking distance) and just on the other side of the bridge from the train station. A 10-12 minute walk will get you to downtown Potsdam to local shops, eateries, and bars.

Participants must make their own reservations. The block of rooms will only be secured until January 30. Please contact the hotel directly (use the keyword ‘Permafrost’) at the following address:

Mercure Hotel Potsdam
Tel.: 0049 331 2722
Fax: 0049 331 293496

Preliminary Agenda

Tuesday 14 Febuary 2012


Welcome by AWI and ESA


ALANIS Smoke Plumes

[M. El Hajj, A. Klonecki (NOVELTIS), J. San-Miguel, D. Mc Inerney (JRC), V. Yershov, D. Fisher (UCL), M. Krol (WUR)]

Project Overview

Targeted Earth Observation Products: Development, Validation and Assessment
Burnt Areas and CO Emissions
Smoke Plumes Injection Height
IASI CO Concentration Retrieval

Land-Atmosphere Coupled Model: Novel TM5
Theoretical and Technical description
EO data and Target Products Integration
Parameter Configuration and Sensitivity
Experimental Validation and Assessment

Experimental Dataset
Description, Sensitivity and Uncertainty Assessment


Open Discussion: Potential Follow-Up


Coffee Break


ALANIS Aerosols

[M. Kulmala, G. de Leeuw, H. Lappalainen, V.-M. Kerminen (University of Helsinki)]

Project Overview

Separating natural and anthropogenic aerosols with satellite data

Case Studies


Open Discussion: Potential Follow-Up




ALANIS Methane

[G. Hayman, E. Blyth, C. Douglas (CEH), A. Bartsch (TUWIEN), C. Prigent (ESTELLUS), J. Burrows (University of Bremen)]

Project Overview

Targeted Earth Observation Products: Development, Validation and Assessment
Freeze/Thaw Product (Melt Start, End and Freeze-Up)
Local Wetland
Regional Wetland
SCHIAMACHY Methane Concentration Retrieval

Land-Atmosphere Coupled Model: JULES+HadGEM
Theoretical and Technical Description
EO data and Target Products Integration
Parameter Configuration and Sensitivity
Experimental Validation and Assessment

Experimental Dataset
Description, Sensitivity and Uncertainty Assessment


Open Discussion: Potential Follow-Up


Coffee Break


iLEAPS Needs and Priorities [M. Kulmala (University of Helsinki)]


Final Open Discussion


End of Workshop


Useful Information

Brochure: STSE | Support to Science Element
STSE Report 2008-2012
STSE Conferences