Scheduled Special Issues

The World Meteorological Organization Solid Precipitation InterComparison Experiment (WMO-SPICE) and its applications (AMT/TC/ESSD/HESS Inter-Journal SI)

  • Guest Editors: M.E. Earle, S. Morin, R.M. Rasmussen, M.A. Wolff, and D. Yang
  • Timeline: 11 Aug 2014 – 1 Jan 2017

Solid precipitation is one of the more complex atmospheric variables to be observed and measured by automatic sensors and systems. Since the WMO Solid Precipitation Measurement Inter-comparison of 1989-1993 (WMO CIMO IOM Report No. 67, WMO/TD-No. 872, 1998), significant advancements have been made in developing automatic instruments for measuring solid precipitation and snow on the ground. New non-catchment type techniques are increasingly used operationally for measuring solid precipitation, e.g. light scattering, microwave backscatter, mass and heat transfer. In parallel, the traditional techniques, tipping bucket and weighing type gauges, have new features (heating, temperature compensation, software corrections), which further diversify the range of data obtain with such instruments. New and emerging applications (e.g., climate change, nowcasting, water supply budgets, avalanche forecast and warnings, satellite ground validation, etc.) require precipitation data of increased accuracy and increased temporal and spatial resolution. A large variety of automatic instruments are being used for measuring solid precipitation, worldwide, including within the same country. This variety exceeds by far the existing range of manual standard precipitation gauges (Goodison et al., 1998).

The Solid Precipitation Intercomparison Experiment (WMO SPICE) commenced in 2011, being endorsed at the Sixteenth Congress of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). SPICE is organized by the Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO) of WMO. Building on the results and recommendations of previous studies and intercomparisons, the mission of SPICE is to investigate and report the measurement and reporting of:

a) Precipitation amount, over various time periods (minutes, hours, days, season), as a function of the precipitation phase, with a focus on solid precipitation;

b) Snow on the ground (snow depth); as snow depth measurements are closely tied to snowfall measurements, the intercomparison will investigate the linkages between them.

The SPICE experiments are organized as simultaneous field tests in a range of climate conditions, over several winter seasons, in the Northern and Southern hemispheres, which have started in December 2012, and continuing until the end of the winter season 2015.

The Inter-Journal WMO SPICE Special Issue invites submissions directly reporting on results obtained within the WMO SPICE project and beyond, including studies relevant to WMO SPICE objectives but carried out independently, and studies focusing on application of WMO SPICE outcomes, such as cold region climate change, snow hydrology, remote sensing of snow cover and snowfall, and land surface modeling over the cold/high latitude regions.

Monitoring atmospheric composition and climate, research in support of the Copernicus/GMES atmospheric service (ACP/AMT/ESSD/GMD Inter-Journal SI)

  • Guest Editors: V.-H. Peuch, R. Engelen, A. Simmons, W. Lahoz, S. Galmarini, and P. Laj
  • Timeline: 08 Jan 2013 – 31 Dec 2014

With the acute societal concerns about air quality, climate change and their effects on health and ecosystems, there is an increasing need for comprehensive, reliable and fast information services on the atmospheric environment. This is also of importance for a range of policy-relevant applications at different scales, from international treaty verification to urban planning for instance. Succeeding to GEMS (Global and regional Earth-system Monitoring using Space and in-situ data) and MACC (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate), MACC-II* (MACC- Interim Implementation) is the third in a series of projects funded since 2005 through the European Union's Seventh Framework programme to build up the atmospheric service component of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) / Copernicus European programme. MACC-II combines the expertise of its 36 partner institutes from 13 European countries to bridge the gap between the meteorological and environmental communities engaged in research and operational service provision. Using the extensive experience of both communities, MACC-II provides information on atmospheric composition using satellite observations, ground-based observations, and state-of-the-art numerical models ( MACC-II not only monitors atmospheric composition over time, but also provides forecasts of air quality, dust storms, fire emissions and solar/UV radiation for a few days ahead both globally and in more detail for Europe. Furthermore, MACC-II supports studies of pollution events and possible responses to mitigate their effects, annual assessments of air quality, and the monitoring of greenhouse gases and their sources and sinks at the Earth's surface. This Special Issue focuses on the world-class research aspects that underpin the continuous development, evaluation and delivery of the GMES/Copernicus services for atmospheric composition.

*: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7 THEME [SPA.2011.1.5-02]) under grant agreement n.283576.

Changes in the vertical distribution of ozone – the SI2N report (ACP/AMT/ESSD Inter-Journal SI)

  • Guest Editors: P. K. Bhartia, N. Harris, M. Van Roozendael, M. Weber, R. Eckman, D. Loyola, J. Urban, C. von Savigny, M. Dameris, and S. Godin-Beekmann
  • Timeline: 01 Sep 2012 – 31 Dec 2014

In early 2011, a joint initiative was started under the auspices of SPARC, the International Ozone Commission (IO3C), the ozone focus area of the Integrated Global Atmospheric Chemistry Observations (IGACO-O3) programme, and the Network for Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). To aid digestion, an acronym of acronyms, SI2N, was adopted. Reports on the two workshops were published in SPARC Newsletters 37 and 39 (Harris et al., 2011, 2012 – The main objective of SI2N is to assess and extend the current knowledge and understanding of measurements of the vertical distribution of ozone, with the aim of providing input to the next WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion anticipated for 2014. It is effectively a follow-up of the SPARC/IOC/GAW Ozone Profile Assessment (

Guidelines for submissions:

  • Anything which was or could have been considered for the last Ozone Assessment will not be included.
  • Papers published prior to 2011 will be assessed using the following criteria.
  • The content of the paper must still be valid and not superceded by more recent work.
  • Datasets or technical advances (e.g. algorithm developments) will be looked on more favourably than interpretative papers such as trend analyses (since we assume they will updated if not by the same group.)
  • Comparisons with model data or use in model runs can be included as long as they are using current datasets that will be used in SI2N.
  • If a paper can be reasonably updated, then that is the preferable option.