A European Aerosol Research Lidar Network to Establish an Aerosol ClimatologyAerosols affect life on earth in several ways. They play an important role in the climate system; the effect of aerosols on the global climate system is one of the major uncertainties of present climate predictions. They play a major role in atmospheric chemistry and hence affect the concentrations of other potentially harmful atmospheric constituents, e.g. ozone. They are an important controlling factor for the radiation budget, in particular in the UV-B part of the spectrum. At ground level, they can be harmful, even toxic, to man, animals, and plants. Because of these adverse effects that aerosols can have on human life, it is necessary to achieve an advanced understanding of the processes that generate, redistribute, and remove aerosols in the atmosphere.A quantitative dataset describing the aerosol vertical, horizontal, and temporal distribution, including its variability on a continental scale, is necessary. The dataset is used to validate and improve models that predict the future state of the atmosphere and its dependence on different scenarios describing economic development, including those actions taken to preserve the quality of the environment. The EARLINET data set is the most comprehensive compilation of data available for this purpose.This project description is taken from: http://www.earlinet.org/index.php?id=earlinet_homepageSummary: Since the beginning of CALIPSO observations in June 2006 EARLINET has performed correlative measurements during nearby overpasses of the satellite at individual stations following a dedicated observational strategy. The EARLINET-CALIPSO correlative measurement plan considers the criteria established in the CALIPSO validation plan (http://calipsovalidation.hamptonu.edu). Participating EARLINET stations perform measurements, as close in time as possible and for a period of at least 30 min up to several hours, when CALIPSO overpasses their location within a horizontal radius of 100 km. Within the 16-day observational cycle of CALIPSO each station is overpassed within this distance 1-2 times during daytime (typically between 1100 and 1400 UTC) and 1-2 times during night time (typically between 0000 and 0300 UTC). Additional measurements are performed, mainly on a non-regular basis, when CALIPSO overpasses a neighboring station in order to study the horizontal variability of the aerosol distribution. The time schedule for correlative observations is calculated starting from the high-resolution ground-track data provided by NASA, and is updated and distributed to whole network weekly. The EARLINET-CALIPSO correlative dataset represents a statistically significant data set to be used for the validation and full exploitation of the CALIPSO mission, for studying the representativeness of cross sections along an orbit against network observations on a continental scale, and for supporting the continuous, harmonized observation of aerosol and clouds with remote-sensing techniques from space over long time periods.
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