Experimental studies of atmospheric changes

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Context and objectives

The project addresses the following research themes:
1. the ozone variability and changes over mid-latitude Europe, on the various spatio-temporal scales: the radiative, dynamical, and chemical mechanisms underlying it will be evaluated
2. the oxidation capacity of the lower atmosphere at selected sites
3. the chlorine and NOy budget.

Its main objectives are:
1. to provide validated tropospheric and stratospheric ground-based measurements of trace gases in mid-latitude Europe that contribute to the EC Environment Programme and to the some of the EUROTRAC-2 objectives (TOR-2);
2. to study the climatology, seasonal and inter-annual variabilities of the measured trace species and the aeronomic processes involved, including the connections of mid-latitude changes with high and low latitudes; comparisons with model simulations are a necessity;
3. to investigate the nitrogen and chlorine budgets experimentally and in conjunction with models;
4. to determine quality-controlled height-resolved ozone trends over Belgium, up to about 35 km altitude with an estimate of the relative contributions of chemistry and dynamics;
5. to contribute to tropospheric and planetary-boundary layer studies by measurements of UV radiation and trace species at ground level and at different altitudes;
6. to provide measurements to test and improve stratospheric models including dynamics and heterogeneous processes and to validate the current and planned non-ESA satellite observations of the atmosphere (e.g., ADEOS, UARS, Odin, ...);
7. to provide measurements to test and improve tropospheric models as to the variability in the oxidation capacity of the troposphere;
8. to provide a UV-irradiation climatology and UV-B forecasts for Belgium on an operational basis and to contribute to the forthcoming European network.