Aerosols affect meteorological and climate system as well as health and transport in different ways. In particular, giant particles can expedite warm rain processes by acting as giant cloud condensation nuclei (GCCN), affecting the precipitation formation, the concentrationradar of the initial cloud droplets, the cloud lifetime and albedo (Eagen, 1974; Feingold, 1999; Ginoux et al., 2011). Aerosol microphysical properties can be typically retrieved in a size range from 100 nm to a few microns, as a consequence of the observation wavelengths used in measuring aerosol by the main instruments used nowadays: lidar and sun photometer. Moreover, there is a lack in the observation of high quality aerosol vertical profiles in presence of thick clouds, when lidar and sun photometer can provide limited information about aerosol microphysics. The objective of this project is to fill this observation
lidargap exploiting the synergy between lidar and radar observations for the characterization of aerosol microphysical properties: while lidar has a better sensitivity to small size aerosols, radar can enlarge the range where the particle effective radius can be estimated, including the giant fraction of volcanic aerosol, mineral dust, pollen, etc., and can provide information in all weather conditions. The exploitation of this synergy will allow us to retrieve aerosol microphysical properties in the ultrafine to ultragiant size range and in all weather conditions.
This study will contribute to a better understanding of the effects of the giant particles on meteorology and climate, and will also provide useful information for the management of natural hazards and air quality.
The research study will be carried out at the CNR-IMAA Atmospheric Observatory (CIAO), located in Potenza, South Italy. The observation site is located in the middle of the Mediterranean Basin and offers the possibility to study a large variety of aerosol types such as maritime, desert dust, volcanic, pollen, forest fires, urban and continental (Madonna et al., 2010).