Europe's most extensive research yet into the impact of aerosols

May 01, 2013
Europe's most extensive research yet into the impact of aerosols
Credit: Shutterstock

The battle to curtail the global impact of aerosols has taken a step forward with the most extensive aerosol research project conducted in Europe so far.

The project EUCAARI ('European Integrated Project on Aerosol Cloud Climate and Air Quality Interactions'), has resulted in a renewed understanding of how affect the planet's radioactive balance.

A major part of the study comprised the investigation of present-day aerosols in cooling applications, which are expected to be reduced dramatically by 2030. This has led the project to call for the implementation of more stringent air pollution abatement measures worldwide.

In order to make significant progress in this area, the project, coordinated by Professor Markku Kulmala from the University of Helsinki, gathered a consortium of 47 partners across 32 European countries. The project received funding of EUR 15 million, with nearly EUR 10 million provided by the EU.

The EUCAARI laboratory then proceeded with a series of extensive field studies in order to gain new information about aerosol and . These were performed on ground-based aircraft and satellite platforms, not only in Europe, but also in China, South-Africa, Brazil and India.

The researchers studied the emission and formation of aerosols, how they evolve and transform during their , and their impact on clouds. Measurements were then integrated with existing data to produce a global dataset. This approach helped the researchers to understand the effects of aerosols on air quality and climate.

Another focus area for the project was in aerosol and techniques, and their relation to air pollution and climate change interactions. By understanding future they were able to develop strategies and implement plans for global air-quality monitoring.

They also developed new aerosol measurement instruments using some of the most complex available in the world. These included the cluster spectrometer, which can be accessed at numerous sites at the same time, including from airborne platforms. Several new instrumental techniques were also developed to observe the different properties of atmospheric aerosols.

What the project achieved was, in all, quite significant, attaining new knowledge on the whole physical background related to aerosol formation and impacts at all scales, from the micro- to the global, from milliseconds to centuries.

Additionally, the project quantified the effects on aerosol concentrations of major reductions in the emission of particles and their precursors within and outside Europe. Crucially, EUCAARI also contributed to the scientific requirements relating to the European Thematic Strategy on .

Overall, the EUCAARI team believe that progress in atmospheric research has received a valuable boost, thanks to the project. Its findings pave the way for more critical and informed research and assessments in the future and for practical solutions to pollution problems around the world.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

More information: EUCAARI www.atm.helsinki.fi/eucaari/

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Journal www.atmos-chem-phys.org/special_issue111.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Down-and-dirty details of climate modeling

May 04, 2011

For the first time, researchers have developed a comprehensive approach to look at aerosols—those fine particles found in pollution—and their effect on clouds and climate. Scientists from Pacific ...

Recommended for you

US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

Apr 18, 2014

The United States announced Friday a fresh delay on a final decision regarding a controversial Canada to US oil pipeline, saying more time was needed to carry out a review.

New research on Earth's carbon budget

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Results from a research project involving scientists from the Desert Research Institute have generated new findings surrounding some of the unknowns of changes in climate and the degree to which ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

China says massive area of its soil polluted

A huge area of China's soil covering more than twice the size of Spain is estimated to be polluted, the government said Thursday, announcing findings of a survey previously kept secret.

UN weather agency warns of 'El Nino' this year

The UN weather agency Tuesday warned there was a good chance of an "El Nino" climate phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean this year, bringing droughts and heavy rainfall to the rest of the world.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...