Aerosols play a crucial role in our changing climate because they affect the occurrence, lifetime, and precipitation characteristics of clouds and they directly absorb and scatter sunlight.
Through their impact on clouds and sunlight, aerosols alter the hydrological cycle and the radiation budget of our planet. Yet how much aerosol is present and where they are is highly uncertain. The EUSAAR project aims to improve our knowledge on the presence of aerosols. The project integrates measurements of atmospheric aerosol properties performed in a distributed network of 20 high quality European ground based stations. It provides easy access to high quality data bases and promotes standardised measurement protocols, intercomparability of observations and quality assurance.
TNO coordinates the network activity on aerosol optical properties, participates in networking activities on chemical and physical properties, provides infrastructural access to other partners and associates, and actively participates in research activities on Near-Real-Time data access and the development of a new ground based aerosol profiling instrument.
TNO choose to be active in this project because of our interest in climate change. Bringing fundamental knowledge from e.g. universities into practice is a one of the TNO tasks that coincides with that interest. The project started in 2007 and runs until 2011.