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Austrian Pollen Warning Service - A look behind the scenes

Austrian Pollen Warning Service – A look behind the scenes

When I came to the Austrian pollen warning service at the time, the pollen forecast consisted of looking at long-term records and drawing conclusions with regard to the weather. Then I sent the correspondence and discussed the topic of the ministry. The modernization began under the supervision of Prof. Jaeger. Initially, this consisted of creating prediction models based on total temperatures. We have determined how many degrees the plant should begin to flower. Because some plants, such as birch, have some kind of thermometer and add temperatures over several months. When a certain temperature is reached, the plant produces dust. This explains why some plants dust earlier and earlier due to warm winters. About ten years ago, at a conference, we got acquainted with a colleague who had developed a model for the spread of an atomic cloud over Europe. We adapted this model and thus developed our first prediction model. The first one-day calculation for Europe took 25 hours at the time, and today it takes one hour. The Austrian pollen database currently contains 27 measurement points. The European pollen database contains more than 700 measurement points, even outside Europe, for example in Uzbekistan and the USA. Only the data from these measurement points enabled us to dramatically improve pollen forecasts. But pollen diaries are also an important source of data.

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