Nordic Network for Ionic Clusters In The Atmosphere, NICITA

The aim of the network is to uncover the origin and chemical composition of the constantly present and ubiquitous pool of charged cluster with diameters below 2 nanometres observed in the troposphere.

Particles in the atmosphere constitute 30-50% of cloud condensation nuclei, which have a central role in determining cloud properties. Clouds are the key uncertainty in predicting climate change.

For the tropospheric clusters the modellers have so far had acute shortage of cluster measurements to compare their theories with, which would be necessary to validate the results passed on to atmospheric models. There is a huge gap in the size regime of the theoretical (10-20 molecules) and experimental studies of chemical composition of atmospheric particles (10000s of molecules).

There are several high level research groups in this field in Nordic and Baltic countries. Extensive instrumentation suited for these studies and expertise required to run the experiments exist. The Nordic-Baltic network has a good chance to be world leaders in this field.

The network consists of nine groups making atmospheric observations and developing world leading instruments, studying clusters or particle formation in the laboratory, and modelling these clusters with various theoretical methods. The participants come from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The network aims at coherent research efforts, with various experimental groups and theorist supporting the analysis of experiments as well as validating their methods by comparison to experiments. Research training and visits is an integral part of the network plan. The network will organise annual workshops and have a strong presence in the annual Nordic Society for Aerosol Research (NOSA) Aerosol Symposium.

Facts about the project
Project leader

Hanna Vehkamäki, University of Helsinki, Finland