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Global Aerosol Climatology Project

Project Description
Atmospheric aerosols, or fine particles, are one of the greatest
sources of uncertainty in the interpretation and prediction of
global climate change. Natural variations of aerosols,
especially due to episodic eruptions of large volcanos, are
recognized as a significant climate forcing, that is, a factor
that alters the planetary radiation balance and thus may cause a
global temperature change. In addition, aerosols from soil dust,
biomass burning, and fossil fuel use are altering the amount and
geographic distribution of atmospheric aerosols, and thus
possibly affecting climate. The Global Aerosol Climatology
Project (GACP) is concerned with the climate forcing due to
changing aerosols, including both the direct radiative forcing
by the aerosols and the indirect radiative forcing caused by
effects of changing aerosols on cloud properties.

In Phase I of GACP, a 20-year global climatology will be
compiled of aerosol forcing data from satellite observations and
field observations for use in climate models. To accomplish
this, the Earth Science Enterprise (formerly called Mission to
Planet Earth) of NASA Headquarters, has issued a research
announcement (NRA-97-MTPE-16). Principal investigators of the
successful proposals will be included in the GACP Aerosol
Radiative Forcing Science Team. This team will provide
scientific guidance for a strategic approach toward definition
of radiative forcing, encourage appropriate collaboration among
research groups, and provide guidance to GACP. Phase II will
consist of complementary field studies.

Point of Contact
Donald Anderson
Program Manager
Radiation Sciences Program
NASA Headquarters
Code YS
300 E St., S.W.
Washington, DC 20546 USA

Phone: 202-358-1432
Fax: 202-358-2770

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