Accent-Plus Summer School 2014

Atmospheric Composition Change: Drivers, Feedbacks and Impacts in Air Quality and Climate


ACCENT-Plus Summer School

22-29 June 2014, Urbino (Italy)


ACCENT-Plus is an EU-FP7 coordination action aimed at maintaining the coordination and integration of the European science community in the field of atmospheric composition change, strengthening the outreach from the science domain into the policy arena and, where possible, to wider global decision making activities. ACCENT-Plus also aims at preserving and enhancing the excellence of European global change and air quality research within the European Research Area. In this context, ACCENT-Plus organised its Summer School, held in Urbino (Italy) from June 22-29, 2014. The main aim of the Summer School was to educate and provide the participants with the necessary background scientific knowledge to understand the current issues related to the drivers, impacts and feedback between atmospheric chemistry and climate change, being this is required for research as well as in the formulation of environmental policies.

The School comprised lectures on the fundamentals of atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemistry as well on the impact of atmospheric composition change on air quality, human health, ecosystems, agriculture and the feedback with climate. Lectures on the scientific diagnostic tools used to test our understanding and make predictions, viz. the observation of atmospheric composition and meteorological parameters and atmospheric modelling were included.

In addition, studies of policy documents and lectures on how to improve one's communication have been organised. The students have also had the opportunity to perform practical work, like e.g. analysing atmospheric data collected during school, using emission data base, analysing time series of surface as well as satellite data, but also how to write a press release or how to give an interview.

The teachers included scientists from the ACCENT-Plus network but also specialists in specific fields, like i.e. epidemiology, communication, and integrated assessment, enrolled outside the consortium.

Sixty PhD students or early stage researchers from all over the word attended the school. Most of them are from Europe but all the continents have been represented with students coming from North and South America, Africa, Australia and Asia.

Besides presenting posters to illustrate their own research, the students have been involved in the dramatization of a debate between scientists supporting the idea of climate change and sceptics and also in the presentation, using different communication tools, of what they have learned during the school.

A questionnaire distributed after the school has registered a high level of appreciation from all the students involved.We would like to acknowledge the support of the WMO-GAW, the University of Urbino and the Italian National Research Council, and thank all the students and the teachers that contributed to make this school such a stimulating and successful event.

Michela Maione
Claire Granier

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