Looks like science!

The mobile weather lidar at the National Observatory of Athens poses in front of some clouds.

The mobile weather lidar at the National Observatory of Athens poses in front of some clouds.

The HygrA-CD campaign is currently underway in Athens, and has brought me here for the week. Those of us participating are from a number of different countries and from different scientific backgrounds including in situ aerosol measurement, ground-based and satellite remote sensing, meteorology, and modelling. We are working together to improve our understanding of boundary layer aerosol influence on cloud formation and cloud properties by combining a wide variety of observational techniques ranging from in situ measurements on the ground to satellite remote sensing measurements from space and tying all of these together with models. This field campaign, led by Alex Papayannis and Athina Argyrouli of the National Technical University of Athens, is taking place from mid May to mid June when cloud formation atop the boundary layer is typical and when a mix of maritime, desert dust, and anthropogenic aerosols can be expected.

My contributions to the campaign are aerosol backscatter and cloud base height data from a Campbell Scientific CS135 ceilometer which I helped to design during my PhD work at Loughborough University, and links to my research group in air quality at the University of Leicester. Last year on the InterACT campaign in Potenza I started the tradition of taking an “instrument as monolith” photo, so here is the one for HygrA-CD.

My official monolithic photo of the ceilometer for the campaign.

My official monolithic photo of the ceilometer for the campaign.

We’ve already seen some nice clouds forming over Athens.

Patriotic clouds.

Patriotic clouds.

"Twilight" clouds captured on film?

“Twilight” clouds captured on film?

Check-it.

Another patriotic cloud.

Whoa!

Whoa!

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And while seeing the large scale cloud features in the sky, we’re also seeing small scale aerosol size distributions coming in from the in situ instrumentation on the ground.

Aerosol size distributions measured by scanning mobility particle sizer.

Aerosol size distributions measured by scanning mobility particle sizer.

And most importantly, please see this photo.

Erlenmeyer flask: it's official--we're doing science  here!

Erlenmeyer flask: it’s official–we’re doing science here!

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