Aerosol particles have various natural and anthropogenic sources, and are important for the Earth’s climate: some types of particles reflect sunlight, cooling the earth, while others absorb sunlight, leading to a warming of the atmosphere. Particulate matter also influences clouds and precipitation, and it is of great concern to air quality because of its adverse health effects.
There are still many open questions and scientific uncertainties about the exact role of aerosols in climate change, as well as how climate change affects the distribution of aerosols. A new European Research cluster called “Aerosols and Climate”, with a total funding of over 35 million Euros, was officially launched on December 5, in order to improve our understanding of these processes and to reduce current uncertainties. The IASS funded project ClimPol, led by Dr. Julia Schmale, was invited during the kick-off to join the Cluster particularly because of its unique approach to co-generate knowledge and its interaction with stakeholders.
IASS scientific director Prof Mark Lawrence provided the keynote speech, pointing out that: “The Aerosols and Climate Cluster has gathered a tremendous team of talented scientists in three ambitious initial projects. We can expect great scientific results to come out of this, and I am particularly pleased with the interest in engaging stakeholders”.
The EU research cluster on Aerosols and Climate consists of three projects: DACCIWA (Dynamics-Aerosol-Chemistry-Cloud Interactions in West Africa), BACCHUS (Impact of Biogenic versus Anthropogenic emissions on Clouds and Climate: towards a Holistic Understanding) and StratoClim (Stratospheric and upper tropospheric processes for better Climate predictions). The projects funded under the European Research Framework Programme officially started in December 2013 and will run through 2017/2018 with Mark Lawrence serving on the advisory board of StratoClim. ClimPol, which is currently scheduled to run until April 2016, is implemented by the IASS and will focus particularly on adding transdisciplinary research approaches.