The contribution and organization of the Spanish official representatives to GEO
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The contribution and organization of the Spanish official representatives to GEO A top-bottom approach. 7 th GEO European Projects Workshop. Julio González Breña State Meteorological Agency (AEMET). INDICE AEMET Meteorological data International cooperation Some examples of projects

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The contribution and organization of the Spanish official representatives to GEOA top-bottom approach

7th GEO European Projects Workshop

Julio González Breña

State Meteorological Agency (AEMET)



Meteorological data

International cooperation

Some examples of projects

GEO Spain



AEMET: legal frame, objectives and responsibilities

State Agency reporting to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Founded in 1887 as Meteorological Central Institute

Under its Statute, AEMET is responsible for official activities related to meteorology and climatology in Spain, including weather information for general purposes.

AEMET is also responsible for official representation in international organizations, international exchange of data, aviation and maritime services as well as the meteorological support to Defense.

AEMET: legal frame, objectives and responsibilities

AEMET assumes the state’s meteorological authority.

Definition, acquisition, installation and maintenance of required technology and meteorological infrastructure:

Observation systems.

Data processing and archiving.


Information systems.

AEMET: legal frame, objectives and responsibilities

Elaboration and distribution of weather services for:

Public and social use.

Severe weather warnings.

Civil aviation.


Public institutions.

Research and assessment to national administration on atmospheric matters, climate change, etc.

AEMET: operational structure

17 Regional Centres, each one responsible for local offices:

90 observatories, some of them with specialised functions.

39 aeronautical offices in civil airports.

23 Defence meteorological offices in air bases and other military buildings (8 of them are open to civil air traffic).

11 Regional Forecasting Centres responsible for:

Information and forecasting services to users in their territory of responsibility.

Services to airports and defence bases in the area

Coordinated by the National Forecasting Centre in Madrid

2. Meterological data

AEMET: observation and weather watch

90 manned weather stations.

+700 automatic weather stations.

Synoptic manned and automatic net

AEMET: observation and weather watch

7 upper air stations.

Complementary network of 4500 voluntary stations (temp. and prec.)

Comp. synoptic auto stations

Upper air stations

AEMET: observation and weather watch

Radiometric, pollution, ozone and RIMA/AERONET networks

National pollution network

National radiometric network

RIMA Cimel masters on the calibration platform at Izaña

Brewer ozono spectrophotometer at the Izaña Atmospheric Research Center

AEMET: observation and weather watch

Network of 15 doppler weather radars.

Radar location

National composition

AEMET: observation and weather watch

Lightning detection network.

AEMET: observation and weather watch

Lightning products.

AEMET: observation and weather watch

Satellite receiving stations: METEOSAT, TIROS-NOAA, METOP and GOES.

  • The combined use of different observation systems improves the capability to monitor the weather in real time

Thunderstorms over the area of Barcelona

AEMET: numerical weather models

Goals regarding NWM:

Development of an operationally suitable mesoscale model at a target horizontal resolution of 2.5 km (HARMONIE).

Continued development of the operative HIRLAM model (5 - 15 km horizontal resolution).

SREPS: Implemented by AEMET

Development of an operationally suitable short-range multi-model limited area ensemble prediction system, suitable specifically for severe weather (GLAMEPS).

3. International cooperation


Representation of Spain:

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

EUMETSAT (European meteorological satellites agency).

GEO (Group on Earth Observations).

Participation in:

GMES initiative.


Meteorological groups of ICAO, NATO and other intergovernmental organisations.

European Union research programs.


National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) are considered essential public services.

International cooperation between NMHSs is extremely important for their own development and for the furtherance of meteorology, although very different scopes and objectives can be set.

Such cooperation usually is a key factor to improve the living conditions of people in developing countries, as they are the most exposed to weather and climate-related risks.

NMHSs has cooperated traditionally. For instance, since many years ago it was defined a set of information that must be interchanged using the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).


European cooperation between NMSs:

EUMETNET (network of European NMSs)


Cooperation with Ibero American NMSs.

Cooperation with North-African NMSs.

Bilateral cooperations with other countries.


Conference of the Directors of the Ibero-American NMHSs (CIMHET).

Conference of the Directors of the West African NMHSs (AFRIMET).

CIMHET: a success case in cooperation with NMHSs

Aimed to improve institutional and operative capacities and to share experiences. Improving NMHSs to strengthen their capacity in response to users and society needs:

  • Extension and updating of observing networks.

  • Modernization of communication systems.

  • Modernization of data processing and distribution of information systems.

  • Strengthening of institutional capacities of NMHSs.

CIMHET: a success case in cooperation with NMHSs

Achievements at regional level

Design of a Hydrometeorology Data Base management system.

Licenses to users free of charge (Open Source).

Virtual Centre for Prevention of Severe Weather:

To become a network of excellence for exchanging information, forecasts and dissemination of warnings.

Coordination of national centres connected through intranet.

EUMETCast System:

Stations in every NMHSs.

Possibility for data rely from different satellites.

AFRIMET: the new challenge




4. Some example of projects


Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS).

Spain has implemented the WMO regional SDS-WAS for North Africa, Middle East and Europe.

The regional center is managed by a consortium of Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) and Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS).

SDS-WAS MISSION: to enhance the ability of countries to deliver timely and adequate sand and dust storms forecasts, observation, information and knowledge to end users through an international partnership of research and operational communities.


SDS-WAS web portal offers forecasts from several dust models and observations from different networks and sensors (spectrophotometers, lidars,…) are provided in combination with other useful information.

Satellite Application Facility, NWC-SAF

Under the leadership of the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET), NWC-SAF is developed by a Project Team involving France (Météo-France), Sweden (SMHI) and Austria (ZAMG) Meteorological Services.

Precipitating Clouds

Convective Precipitation Rate

Rapid Development Thunderstorms

Satellite Application Facility, NWC-SAF

  • NWC-SAF main goal: Production of software packages that support Nowcasting and Very Short Range Forecasting.

  • The software, to be installed locally at user’s site, processes data from SEVIRI spectrometer (MSG), as well as from the AVHRR sensor on board of NOAA and METOP polar satellites.

High resolution winds

Satellite Application Facility, NWC-SAF

Currently, AEMET has a collaboration with ACMAD (African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development) for the installation of NWC-SAF software and training on the use of he products.



5. GEO Spain

Top Roles in GEO Spain

GEO Principal: President of the Spanish State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), Dr. Daniel Cano

GEO Alternate: Director for Planning and Strategy - AEMET

Representative at High Level Working Group: Head of External Relations - AEMET

GEO national groups missions

Coordination of GEO actions at international level

Cooperation with other GEO members

Convey GEO ideas and information in a national framework

Integrated observing system

Data Interoperability

Deployment ruled by users

Promote the use of Earth Observation

Establish national strategies

Represent all national participants

GEO – Spain Group

Consists of a core of public institutions involved in the observation of the Earth from the provision, use, science or technology.

It was created in 2005 to support participation of Spain in GEO and as a debate forum to prepare common positions.

Research institutions have traditionally participated as observers.

AEMET has had a very intense initial activity, including, for example, the organization of the 1st GEO-Donor Capacity Building Symposium and other board meetings.

However, there also have been periods with an almost total suspension of activity in the group.

The last meeting was held in February 2012

GEO – SG : Weak points

Lacking of:

A common strategic framework, political consensus

Clear and active leadership

Difficult to identify and involve all stakeholders due to their different sensitivities:

Administrative levels (national, regional and local governments)

Education and research

Private Sector

Need to discover synergies and to leverage existing organizational structures

In this complex environment, current situation of budget constraints on public administration adds uncertainty and limits the funds available for enhancing participation.

GEO – SG: Strategic framework

Coordination of efforts at the highest level

Governance System

Defining national structures

First step: consolidation of the Spanish GEO Group

Identification of participants and survey circulated:


GEO boards and groups participation

Participation in projects

Analysis of benefits and national priority setting

Identification of objectives and implementation, including GEOSS

Analysis of the political, budgetary and scientific aspects

International perspective and relations with GEO

Cooperation with neighbour countries and other projects (e.g. GMES)

GEO – SG : Institutional members

Participants in the last meeting of Spanish institutions with responsibility in GEO (AEMET Headquarters - February 2012)

CSIC / ICM (Instituto de Ciencias del Mar): Institute of Marine Sciences

CDTI (Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial): Centre for Industrial Technological Development

IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional): National Geographic Institute

CNIG (Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica): National Center for Geographic Information.

CIEMAT (Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas): Centre for Energy, Environmental and Technological Research

IEO (Instituto Español de Oceanografía): Spanish Institute of Oceanography

DG de Protección Civil y Emergencias: General Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergencies

OECC (Oficina Española de Cambio Climático): Spanish Office for Climate Change

Ente Público Puertos del Estado (EPPE): State Ports Public Corporation


GEO – SG : Goals

Formal constitution of a GEO Committee with institutional members.

Starting point: Agreements of the February 2012 meeting.

Initial structure and framework documentation for GEO Committee:

Formalization of activities: Appointment of coordinator and participants.

ToR Establishing consensus among participants.

Opening to other institutions, and enabling channels for participation and information. Working groups:

Coordination with GMES structure and other iniciatives.

Coordination with public and private researchers, i.e. the Scientific Division of GEO Spain, created by CREAF.

AEMET wants to coordinate its efforts with other Spanish institutions to:

Fill the gaps in the Spanish contribution to GEO and avoid overlapping

Establish common positions

6. Summary

AEMET has a dilated experience in:

Provision and use of science and technology for Earth observation

Cooperation with other countries and international organizations

Implementing projects

There is a clear will to coordinate the activity of GEO in Spain and drive the GEO Group.

Proposal to create the GEO Committee in the Spanish Group.

Depending on committee decisions, working groups will articulate bidirectional inputs and outputs of information with users and other institutional structures.

Thank you for your attention

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