MEMO2: MEthane goes MObile – MEsurements and MOdelling

General Project Description

MEMO2 will develop and implement unique small–scale mobile measurement and modelling systems for policy-relevant emission estimates through EU-wide research and training collaboration between academic and non-academic partners.

Why MEMO2? The societal and scientific case

Mitigation of climate change is a key scientific and societal challenge. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) agreed to limit global warming “well below” 2oC and, if possible, below 1.5oC. Reaching this target requires massive reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, far beyond the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.

MEMO2 will contribute to this goal with a focus on methane (CH4), one of Europe’s most important sources of energy. CH4 emissions are a major contributor to Europe’s global warming impact, but Europe’s CH4 emissions are not well quantified. Effective emission reduction can only be achieved if sources are properly quantified, and mitigation efforts are verified.

MEMO2 will help to identify and evaluate CH4 emissions and support mitigation measures by:

I) Developing novel measurement and modelling tools for emission detection and quantification

Scientific focus will be on the local and regional emissions in various regions of Europe, because this is the scale where emission reductions happen. However, such reductions are at present mostly reported by bottom-up assessment, but not independently confirmed by top-down measurements and models. The main scientific goal of MEMO2 is to develop and apply innovative experimental and modelling tools, based on recently developed mobile analyzers, on state-of-the-art isotope techniques, and on a hierarchy of models, including newly developed high-resolution dispersion models, to identify and quantify CH4 emissions from local sources in Europe and use these updated emissions to improve estimates at the European scale.

II) Educating qualified scientists in the use and implementation of interdisciplinary knowledge and techniques that are essential to meet and verify emission reduction goals

A dedicated training program includes original actions to reinforce the autonomy (learning-by-doing approaches) and the maturity (student autonomous virtual network) of the MEMO2 early stage researchers (ESRs). This ensemble of training actions will help them to refine their career plan, either within the scientific community, or in the non-academic sector. MEMO2 will facilitate intensive collaboration between the largely academic greenhouse gas monitoring community and non-academic partners who are responsible for evaluating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions to policy makers.