Dr. Brent Holben explains how NASA's program of global ground-based sun photometers measure aerosols at the surface and why those measurements are so vital to understanding the Earth's processes at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. Also available on YouTube
The Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) is one of the first places that scientists turn when volcanoes, wildfires, pollution plumes, dust storms and many other phenomena-both natural and manmade-make an appearance. The network of ground-based instruments, called sun photometers, measures the many tiny particles blowing about in the atmosphere called aerosols. The particles are often impossible to see with human eyes, but AERONET's sensors can detect their presence by measuring subtle fluctuations in sunlight as the particles reflect and scatter the sun's rays.
This presentation was given at the United States Center at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference on Nov 10, 2021.
This visualization by Dr. Bill Putman shows the global distribution of aerosols, generated by NASA’s GEOS-FP data assimilation system, from August 1, 2019 to January 14,2020. Different aerosol species are highlighted by color, including dust (orange), sea-salt (blue), nitrates (pink), sulfates (green), and carbon (red), with brighter regions corresponding to higher aerosol amounts. More information is available about this animation at https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/31100
AERONET installation in South America. Rapid deforestation of the Amazon makes these measurements taken in South America even more critical to understanding the role global aerosols have on our planet.
AERONET is only possible because of the cooperative efforts of the global AERONET community. Here are some of the people that make this data possible.From Clockwise, Beijing, Lille, Boulder, Valladolid, Greenbelt (GSFC). The photo above the Beijing group was contributed by Sharon J. Anderson, a story teller, taken at sunrise on Tuesday Oct. 5 on the Beltsville farm.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 126.96.36.199.0