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Objectives and content 2018-11-14T09:12:20+00:00

You can see the full Action Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which includes a Tecnical Annex with details on the Action
Visit the COST webpage of our COST Action CA16109 COLOSSAL
For general COST rules see the COST Vademecum

The COST Action CA16109 started on 3 March 2017 and will end on 2 March 2021.

Challenge

To optimize and harmonize fine atmospheric aerosols online measurements, guaranteeing the transfer of knowledge. To coordinate overarching analyses to assess the spatial variability (across Europe), temporal variability (at a one hour time resolution or better), seasonality (using long term datasets), phenomenology (chemical composition) and sources of fine atmospheric aerosol.

Diagram of Action

Action summary

It is well known that exposure to aerosols exerts a negative impact on human health and that aerosols affect climate and the environment. These effects are dependent on the composition and sources of these fine atmospheric aerosols (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter below 2.5 µm, PM2.5). The main challenge of the Action is to consistently assess their spatial variability (across Europe), their temporal variability (at a one hour time resolution or better), their seasonality (using long term datasets), their phenomenology (chemical composition) and their sources. To this end many research groups and some air quality monitoring networks in Europe and across the world have acquired recently-developed chemical composition measurement instrumentation. These include the Aerosol Chemical Speciation Monitor (ACSM) (based on Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (AMS) technology), which measures non-refractory ammonium, nitrate, sulfate, chloride, and organic mass, and instruments that measure the refractory black carbon, such as the Aethalometer and Multi Angle Absorption Photometer (MAAP). These new high time resolution techniques, which chemically characterize the aerosols, are capable of operating for long time periods and have only been available in 5-10 years. The processing and interpretation of the data from these instruments has matured to a stage where harmonized across Europe is now possible; this will be achieved by a network built through the present Action to jointly develop the capacity for the interpretation of the measurements gathered using these techniques. The outcomes of the Action will be relevant for air quality modellers and policy makers.

Action objectives

Research Coordination Objectives:

  1. To provide clear, evidence-based guidelines for real-time chemical characterization of fine atmospheric aerosols, in terms of measurement protocols and data treatment, which ensures consistent, reproducible and comparable results across Europe.
  2. To provide a homogenized protocol to determine the source apportionment of fine organic aerosol and black carbon, based on real-time measurements of organic mass spectra and light absorption at different wavelengths, respectively.
  3. To coordinate and reinforce exchanges of scientific research necessary to understand factors influencing the concentrations and chemical composition of fine atmospheric aerosols.
  4. To ensure the good performance of the instrumentation used by undertaking intercomparison exercises.
  5. To develop quality control and assurance criteria and methodologies for the above-mentioned activities and promote their use Europe-wide and globally.
  6. To promote the joint interpretation of results at different European sites.
  7. To maintain and further build a network of experts, researchers, Early Career Investigators (ECI), and PhD students that allows the achievement of the previous objectives. This will also contribute to the overall skills base.
  8. To provide data for air quality model evaluation and model development which are the basis of air quality related policies.
  9. To bring together the communities dealing with black and brown carbon with the ones dealing with chemical composition and source apportionment.
  10. To recommend to manufacturers desirable features of instrumentation for the determination of real-time chemical characterization and source apportionment of fine atmospheric aerosols.

Capacity Building Objectives:

  1. To train less-experienced researchers (mainly PhD students and ECI) on the use of techniques for real-time chemical characterization and source apportionment of fine atmospheric aerosols and interpretation of results and data treatment.
  2. To support and training of researchers (including PhD students and ECI) from Participating Countries and Inclusiveness Target Countries who might have a need for such knowledge and might lack other means to achieve such experience.
  3. To enhance the capabilities of long-term measurements of aerosol chemistry at networks.
  4. To foster knowledge exchange about the use of techniques for real-time fine atmospheric aerosols chemical characterization and the interpretation of results and data treatment.
  5. To foster knowledge exchange about the application of source apportionment tools to determine the origin of carbonaceous aerosol and the interpretation of results.
  6. To provide rigorous training to efficiently measure and interpret the real-time chemical composition of fine atmospheric aerosols determined with quality assured methodology.
  7. To provide training in the application of source apportionment tools to determine the origin of fine carbonaceous aerosol.