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Project start01.05.2008
Project end30.09.2011
StatusCompleted projects
  • Research & cooperation
  • Weather


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Swiss federal authoritiesSwiss federal authorities

MicroPoem - Impact of micrometeorological factors

The main objective of the COST Action ES0603 (EUPOL) is to set up a multi-disciplinary forum for critical review of existing information on allergenic pollen in Europe and its representation in assessment and forecasting systems.

Within the Action one working group focuses on pollen production and release and their quantitative description. It includes analysis of observational and modeling information for revealing key characteristics of these processes. The project MicroPoem, a collaboration of MeteoSwiss and the Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing (MRC Lab), University of Basel, aims at the investigation of the impact of micrometeorological factors on birch pollen emission. A second objective is the determination of pollen emission parameters, which will be implemented in pollen forecast models.

MeteoSwiss contribution to COST ES0603

Project Vision

Diseases due to aeroallergens are among the major causes of a growing rate of health problems and morbidity. Adequate protective and pre-emptive measures require both the reliable assessment of production and release of various pollen species and the forecasting of their atmospheric dispersion. A new generation of pollen forecast models is being developed in various European countries. The emission parameter is one of the least known parts of these pollen forecast systems. The overall goal of the project MicroPoem is to investigate pollen production and emission by combining experimental and modeling work in order to quantify the released pollen in connection with meteorological factors. As an example, birch trees are used because their pollen is among the most important allergens in Europe.

Experimental data were collected in a large field campaign, which has been conducted in April 2009 in Illarsaz (Switzerland). Pollen concentrations and meteorological factors have been measured up- and downwind of a well-defined birch pollen source in a high spatial and temporal resolution. Key features of the set-up are the horizontal as well as vertical profiles of meteorological and pollen concentration measurements. The vertical profiles were measured at three towers and a tethered balloon. The set-up is unique to date and gives detailed information on the impact of micrometeorological factors on birch pollen emission. The resulting emission parameter will be tested using state-of-the-art atmospheric transport models and will considerably improve the quality of pollen forecasts.

Project partner:

Institute of Meteorology, Climatology and Remote Sensing

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland.