MIRRA: Microclimate Real-time Remote Applications

01 December 2023 → 31 May 2025
European funding: framework programme
Principal investigator
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Climatology
    • Meteorology
    • Terrestrial ecology
    • Environmental monitoring
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Forestry management and modelling
Other information
Project description

Climate change, and its impacts on ecological, agricultural, and other societal systems, is often studied by relying on temperature data derived from official weather stations. Yet, these data do not capture microclimates, influenced by vegetation, soil and topography, operating at spatial scales relevant to the majority of organisms on Earth. Detecting and attributing climate-change impacts with confidence and certainty will only be possible if we better quantify how temperatures are changing in forests, mountains, shrublands, and other remote habitats. Policy makers and land managers urgently need open access to more microclimate data.
Here, we develop an open access, integrative Microclimate Real-time Remote Applications (MIRRA) instrument with an associated authoritative, online database to solve this problem. There is an urgent need for a novel, miniature and simple self-assembly open access device with free online data access.
The overarching aim of MIRRA is to develop a miniature and simple self-assembly instrument for instantaneous, long-term and remote measurements of microclimate with optimized power usage and data transfer via cellular connectivity. All data become automatically available to everybody online, and MIRRA will thus substantially increase the availability of open access real-time microclimate data from all over the world. As a proof-of-concept showcase, and building on ERC StG FORMICA, we will install the MIRRA system in 45 forests spread across Europe.
With the dawn of such novel sensor technology for the long-term, low-cost, real-time and remote sensing of microclimates, we lay the foundation and open a wide range of possibilities to map microclimates in different ecosystems, feeding a next generation of models. This system will serve a multitude of societal needs, now and into the future as climate change accelerates.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.