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Book Preface

The chemical composition of the atmosphere has numerous impacts to the quality of human life. Some prominent examples of these are the adverse health effects of fine particulate matter and ozone, the irritation and cough caused by some air pollutants and the sneezing associated to aeroallergens, the sense of smell associated to the changes of the seasons as well as to the exposure to unpleasant odors.

The COST Action ES0602: Towards a European Network on Chemical Weather Forecasting and Information Systems (www.chemicalweather.eu), organized in May 2008 a workshop in Thessaloniki, Greece, devoted to Quality of life information services towards a caring and sustainable society for the atmospheric environment. The main purpose of the workshop was to present and discuss existing Chemical Weather Forecasting and Information Systems, developed both by the action participants, and by related important organizations, such as the European Environment Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The focus of the workshop was specifically on the dissemination and the wider use of chemical weather forecasting information. This has been the main topic of the Working Group 3 of this COST action.

The workshop included a number of key presentations from invited experts from Europe and the United States. These represent regional, national and continental solutions and services that provide information on the quality of the atmospheric environment and chemical weather forecasts, via web portals, mobile devices, and other ICT communication channels.

These presentations are included in this publication, and we wish to thank all the authors for providing these contributions. In addition, this publication includes three brief papers that present the objectives, content, interaction and achievements of the working groups that are active within the COST ES0602 Action. We also wish to acknowledge the substantial contributions towards the successful organization of this workshop by all of the participants of this COST action. Last but not least, this publication includes an inventory of AQ information systems in Europe, on the basis of input received by members of the Action. We hope that based on these proceedings and the referenced information, the readers will be able to have direct access to the current state of the art, the latest developments and the future plans concerning Quality of Life Information Services for the Atmospheric Environment.

This publication is supported by COST.

In Thessaloniki and Helsinki, March 2009

The editors,

Kostas Karatzas and Jaakko Kukkonen

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AirMerge

The AirMerge System is an extension of the ChemicalWeather portal, and allows you to view, combine and compare results from chemical weather models.