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ANR funded project

Comprendre et prévoir les évolutions de notre environnement (DS0101) 2015

AErosol RadiatiOn and CLOuds in Southern Africa

The representation of clouds, aerosols and cloud-aerosol-radiation interaction remain the largest uncertainties in climate change, limiting our ability to accurately reconstruct and predict future climate change. The South East (SE) Atlantic is a region where high atmospheric aerosol loadings (from biomass burning, mineral dust, marine origin) and semi-permanent stratocumulus cloud are co-located. This area provides a unique natural laboratory for studying the full range of aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions and their perturbations of the Earth’s radiation budget. Aside the fundamental knowledge that can be gained from the study of this environment, these perturbations of the radiative systems occurring in SE have a significant impact, not just locally but also via global teleconnections on wider changes in climate. There have never been detailed although measurements of the combined cloud-aerosol-radiation system over the SE Atlantic are crucial in constraining the current generation of large eddy simulation, numerical weather prediction and climate models.
The AErosol RadiatiOn and CLOuds in Southern Africa (AEROCLO-SA) project proposes a break-through study focusing on the South East (SE) Atlantic off the western coast of southern Africa providing with a novel evaluation of the interactions between aerosols, clouds and radiation and their representation in global and regional models.
AEROCLO-SA will deliver a wide range of airborne, surface-based and satellite measurements of clouds, aerosols, and their radiative impacts to
1) improve representation in models of absorbing and scattering aerosols
2) reduce uncertainty of the direct, semi-direct and indirect radiative effect, and their impact on stratocumulus clouds;
3) challenge satellite retrievals of cloud and aerosol and their radiative impacts to validate and improve algorithms;

AEROCLO-SA is the French contribution in the framework of a very high level international, synergistic project. Aside the French contribution (5 leading laboratories from Universities and CNRS), it gathers partners
- from the UK (Met Office, Univ. of Reading, Manchester, Oxford, …) within the CLARIFY-2016 project );
- from the USA within the NSF LASIC project (22 US universities and research labs) and within the US NASA ORACLES (5 NASA research centers and 8 Universities);
- and from southern African Universities under the umbrella of the ARSAIO research initiative (CNRS/NRF).
AEROCLO-SA includes ground-based and airborne measurements, and modelling. The present project aims at funding the airborne part of the French contribution 1/ to allow the French community who was part of the overall strategy from the very beginning to eventually participate to its implementation during the international field campaign 2/ to gather unique datasets 3/ to participate the valorization of the international dataset.


IRCELYON CNRS Institut de Recherches sur la Catalyse et l'Environnement de Lyon

LATMOS Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations spatiales

LA Laboratoire d'Aérologie

UNIV LILLE1 Laboratoire d'Optique Atmosphérique

LISA Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques

ANR grant: 650 573 euros
Beginning and duration: janvier 2016 - 48 mois


ANR Programme: Comprendre et prévoir les évolutions de notre environnement (DS0101) 2015

Project ID: ANR-15-CE01-0014

Project coordinator:
Madame Paola Formenti (Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques)


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.