An intensive measurement campaign of the chemistry and physics of atmospheric aerosol in Cyprus
Atmospheric aerosols affect our health by entering our lungs and also by serving as vehicles for bacteria and other biological organisms. In addition aerosols from natural and anthropogenic sources affect our climate in a number of ways. They reflect solar radiation back to space (the direct effect) thus reducing the energy reaching the earth surface. Their more significant effect on climate seems to occur however, through their interactions with clouds and precipitation (the indirect effect). Studying the effects of aerosols on climate is complicated partly because the properties of the particles change during their travel through the atmosphere. The changes are primarily due to various chemical reactions that take place in the atmosphere.
The Eastern Mediterranean is a crossroad for air pollution from Europe and dust storms from Africa. Unfortunately the amount of data on the spatial (mostly vertical) and temporal variations of the aerosol particles and their effects on local climate and on clouds and precipitation in this region is scarce.
The Cyprus Institute in collaboration with Tel Aviv University, the Weizmann Institute and the University of Frankfurt are about to embark on a measurement campaign in which surface measurements and vertical profiles of atmospheric aerosols will be conducted. The ground measurements will be carried out at the monitoring stations of the Air Quality Sector, Department of Labor Inspection in Cyprus while the vertical profiles will be conducted from The Cyprus Institute unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV).
Special attention will be given to the aerosol composition and physical properties of the particles. A special sampling system has been recently developed at the University of Frankfurt, which allows for multiple samples during each UAV flight. The UAV team at The Cyprus Institute improved the system by developing a ground control of the sampling system during the flight.
The German-Israel Foundation (GIF) workshop at the Weizmann Institute
A special workshop was held at the Weizmann Institute, Israel to discuss atmospheric chemistry with special emphasis on atmospheric aerosols. Scientists from The Cyprus Institute, Tel Aviv University, The Weizmann Institute and the Air Quality Sector, Department of Labor Inspection in Cyprus took part in this workshop. Presentations included such topics and bio-aerosols, pollution level across the Mediterranean basin, the role of aerosols in cloud formation and more. The meeting was used to plan the aerosol campaign in Cyprus and to focus on the main issues to be studied.