IntroductionReducing uncertainties in the role of suspended particulate material in the atmosphere is critical for addressing a number of problems of major current concern. Direct and indirect radiative forcing (the ability of aerosol particles to affect the Earth's radiation budget) each carry larger uncertainties than all other agents of climate change. Furthermore, there are significant challenges associated with the uncertainties of the impacts of particulate material on air quality and human health.
A significant contributor to these uncertainties is the vast heterogeneity in the distribution of aerosols by virtue of their disparate sources (both primary and secondary) and transformations in the moist oxidising atmosphere. The complexity of aerosol precursors and variability in the oxidising environment leads to a highly variable loading of particles of widely ranging size, age and property.
There are a number of emerging frameworks aiming to integrate our theoretical or empirical understanding of the atmospheric aerosol, able to capture behaviour of physico-chemical aspects to various degrees and for a variety of applications at a range of complexity. We look forward to exploring these aspects during this meeting.
The Scientific Committee warmly invited delegates to take part in the Discussion and welcomed them to Leeds.
AimsThis Discussion aims to explore:
- the synthesis of emerging knowledge of the atmospheric aerosol systems
- assessment of the validity and usefulness of existing frameworks and
- the development of robust aerosol system descriptions on scales ranging from the interpretation of laboratory data to assessment of global impacts.