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Aerosols in Europe

“Aerosols can be found everywhere in the atmosphere – but they´re challenging to understand. Where do they form naturally, and how much do we emit artificially? How are they transported by the weather? How do they affect the climate – directly, and through their influence on cloud formation? Among the remaining problems in aerosol reasearch, aerosols are one of the most exciting, and difficult. Through studies of the amount of aerosols in the atmosphere at locations where we have not previously had measurement stations, schools can give an important contribution to our understanding of the Earths climate.”

Bjørn Samset, Cicero Norway

Why aerosols?

Aerosols are small particles, smaller than 10 micrometers, which are suspended in the atmosphere. Interacting with solar radiation (sun light), they play an important but not so well understand role in climate change and in air quality. They are hazardous for human health, for example they can cause respiratory problems.


How to measure

Karl Torstein Hetland  

If we want to assess how much aerosols there are in the air, we measure the aerosol optical thickness (AOT) of the atmosphere. AOT shows how much of the sun's light is scattered or absorbed by particles suspended in the air.

The instrument that is used to measure AOT is called a sun photometer. With using sun photometer students actually measure the amount of sunlight reaching the ground when clouds do not cover the sun.

Students also observe sky conditions near the sun, perform the Cloud, Optional Barometric Pressure (optional) and Relative Humidity Protocols, and measure current air temperature.


Scientific collaboration

Bjørn Samset from Cicero in Norway and Elise Hendriks, a GLOBE aerosol scientist from the KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) in the Netherlands, will be coordinate the scientific part of the project. In addition, we will collaborate with The GLOBE Program through their Aerosol team and the results will be published at the GLOBE home page,

School collaboration

The schools will be paired and collaborate through the whole project period. We will invite 12 Norwegian schools and 12 European schools from 6 different countries. The age of the students will be from 16 to 18.

GLOBE Country coordinators from all the participating countries will give advice on how to implement the project in their schools.

Startup workshop

We will invite two teachers from each school to a three day workshop. At the workshop you will get all the scientific background needed. We will do the measurements In practice and work through different learning activities developed  for the aerosol protocol in GLOBE.

Workshop in Nove Mesto 2015

Project timeline (can be adjusted)

Autumn 2014

Invitation to schools in Norway and 6 other European countries.

National workshop in Oslo (1 day)

Spring 2015

Measurements and project at the Norwegian schools

National workshop in April/May 2015

National school reports in June 2015

Autumn 2015

International workshop September 2015, 3 days

Autumn 2016

International closing workshop, September 2016


Kvar skule får dekt kostnadene til måleutstyr.

Reise  og opphald på alle samlingane vert dekt av prosjektet. Eventuelle vikarkostnader dekkast av skulen.


Rektor ved skulen inngår ei 3-årig prosjektavtale.