Status Reports

Executive summary of progress reports

EVK2-CT2001-00098 - PHOENICS - Particles of Human Origin Extinguishing Natural solar radiation In Climate Systems (January 2002 - December 2004)


PHOENICS aims to assess the direct climate effect of aerosols and quantify and reduce several of the associated main uncertainties using climate models, and to evaluate the impact of European emissions, via aerosol formation, on Europe (especially the Mediterranean region) and the global environment and climate, and the influence of other world-regions on Europe.

The optical, chemical and hygroscopic properties of the multi-component mixed aerosol is considered using a size-dependent aerosol dynamic model embedded within a global 3-dimensional atmospheric general circulation model (A-GCM). Thorough validation of the developed parameterisations, the A-GCM results and evaluation of the uncertainties associated to the calculations of the direct aerosol effect, will be based on selected observations and optimal use of satellite data.

PHOENICS benefits from the combination of complementary expertise that covers modelling of the aerosol dynamics, the individual aerosol components, photochemistry, equilibrium models, emissions, deposition, satellite observations and field experiments, and enables the successful fulfillment of the multidisciplinary research in the project. The contributing institutions have also strong experimental activities relevant to the aerosol formation, properties and concentrations in the atmosphere. The consortium continuously profits from these activities and the related expertise.

Scientific achievements during the 1st year
Scientific achievements during the 2nd year
Scientific achievements during the last 15 months

Overall scientific achievements

Socio-economic relevance and policy implications:

Aerosols have complex direct and indirect impact on climate and are harmful to health and biosphere at high concentrations. Both compiled data and model results provide scientifically sound basis useful for policy makers regarding policies that involve both air quality and climate change.

Mixing of aerosols but also formation of secondary organic aerosol is modifying the chemical, physical and optical characteristics of aerosol population. In addition the interactions between aerosol composition and the optical and chemical properties of clouds are very complex. Understanding and parameterizing all these procedures and the variability of the mixed aerosol in the troposphere are key elements for determining the social and economic impacts of aerosols and define environmental policy.

With the A-GCM/M7 models, improvements of the predictability of aerosol associated climate effect can be expected and thus more accurate predictions on a regional basis (e.g. Europe).

The 2 ways nested off line model TM5 has also already lead to a publication directly relevant to policy makers (Krol et al. 2003), and it is expected that the model set-up allows for easy comparison of air pollution and climate gas emissions between regions and enabled the investigation of European anthropogenic emissions and future changes to Europe's environment and climate.

Our results emphasise the need for integrated emission strategies for aerosols and their precursors comprising the cross-connections of the global aerosol cycles.