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Enhanced quantification and understanding of natural and anthropogenic methane emissions and sinks
Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
This activity is expected to foster and enhance collaboration between the modelling and observing (satellite, ground-based, airborne) communities and advance towards an enhanced global and regional assessment of the methane sources and sinks from land and the ocean, their short and long-term evolution as well as the related natural and anthropogenic processes and impacts on atmospheric chemistry and dynamics and on Earth radiation budgets. The expected outcomes hereafter are complying with the recommendations formulated by the user community during the ESA ATMOS-2021 conference.
The challenge of this topic is to further quantify and understand natural and anthropogenic methane emissions based on carefully selected European land sites and European sea sites with unprecedented resolution in space and time that should leverage the latest advances in observations from satellite, ground-based, and airborne, together with advances in reconciling inverse and bottom-up modelling approaches.
The proposal will address this challenge through:
- Deploying large coordinated in situ, ground-based and airborne observation monitoring campaigns over different Earth’s ecosystems (terrestrial, terrestrial-aquatic continuum, and marine sub-seafloor) and key anthropogenic sources (e.g. agriculture, waste, mining, oil and gas industry) with comparable and scalable measurement approaches.
- Running these campaigns during an extended period of time and planning them beyond the duration of the projects, building on existing measurement infrastructures and initiatives, in order to support the validation of satellite products, but as well to support the development of new and enhancement of existing models and data assimilation techniques.
- Evaluating temporal change in methane release over centuries at selected, relevant sites from existing long-time series.
- Advancing towards an integrated methane observing system (on “facility scale”) that capitalises on the latest advances in observations from satellite, in situ, ground-based remote sensing and airborne instruments as well as results from citizen observations.
- Advancing the capacity of models and data assimilation techniques, related to methane emissions through specifically exploiting novel medium and high-resolution satellite data (e.g. GHGSat, PRISMA, Sentinel-2, Landsat-8/9, Worldview-3).
- Delivering inverse modelling to separate methane sources and sinks and to attribute inverse modelling estimated fluxes to specific processes building on sufficient spatial resolution to identify the origin, for instance, of large local emissions.
- Advancing towards an enhanced spatially and temporary high-resolution global and regional assessment of the methane sources and sinks and its dynamics over time, the related natural and anthropogenic processes, and impacts on climate.
This topic is part of a coordination initiative between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the EC on Earth System Science. Under the EC-ESA Earth System Science Initiative, both institutions aim at coordinating efforts to support complementary collaborative projects, funded on the EC side through Horizon Europe, and on the ESA side through the ESA FutureEO programme as part of the ESA Atmosphere Science Cluster and relevant ESA activities related to the use of the TROPOMI and other relevant missions.
Proposals should address the collaboration with ongoing or future ESA Atmosphere Science Cluster projects, including those that will be funded through dedicated coordinated invitations to tender, and should towards this end include sufficient means and resources for effective coordination.
ESA will contribute to this effort by providing a dedicated Earth observation satellite scientific component to complement, collaborate and coordinate with this activity. In particular, ESA will contribute with dedicated set of complementary scientific activities with special focus on exploring and exploiting the new capabilities offered by TROPOMI in combination with other relevant European and international satellite missions including novel very high-resolution observations.
When dealing with models, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness, as much as possible going well beyond documentation and extending to aspects such as assumptions, code and data that is managed in compliance with the FAIR principles. In particular, beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to publish results data in open access repositories and/or as annexes to publications. In addition, full openness of any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding is expected.
Projects should take into account, during their lifetime, relevant activities and initiatives for ensuring and improving the quality of scientific software and code, such as those resulting from projects funded under the topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-02 on the development of community-based approaches.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- A significant European effort to develop an enhanced methane assessment capacity including extensive advanced in situ data at multiscale and from multi-platforms, novel satellite observations, and enhanced modelling efforts to quantify and understand hotspots and background for natural and anthropogenic methane emissions with unprecedented resolution in space and time.
- An increased coordination of in-situ observations of methane emissions including enhancing communication and networking between the relevant observation communities.
- Enhanced science base in Europe to perform global and regional (European) scale high-resolution assessment of the methane sources and sinks in relevant environments, their short and long-term changes, the related natural and anthropogenic sources, and impacts on atmospheric chemistry and dynamics.
- Clear policy advice on current and future climate contributions of methane on global and regional (European) scale, including elaboration on effective mitigation options.
- Provision of a significant contribution to IPCC and related scientific efforts regarding reducing methane emission uncertainties similar to those of the Global Carbon Project.
- Contribution to achieve the goals of the COP26 Glasgow agreement on methane emission reductions and to the EU methane strategy.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional obligations regarding open science practices: Open access to any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding under the action must be ensured through documentation, availability of model code and input data developed under the action.
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.