The Izaña observatory becomes the world benchmark in aerosol measurement after the eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii

The State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), under the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), reported this Thursday that the Izaña Atmospheric Research Center, located at the top of Tenerife, has become the The only worldwide center responsible for the calibration of the reference photometers of the AERONET network after the eruption of the Mauna Loa volcano, on the island of Hawaii.

The volcanic eruption that began on November 27 significantly affected the infrastructure of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observatory located on Mauna Loa. Due to this contingency, the Izaña Atmospheric Research Center must act as the only global center for calibrating standard photometers in the network, accepting the instruments from Hawaii while the volcanic emergency situation continues and the Mauna Loa Observatory is operational. fully reset, explains Aemet.

The AERONET network, coordinated by NASA, is a federal network that has provided for more than 25 years, continuously and with easy access, a quality, long-term, public domain database of optical, microphysical, and microphysical properties. and radiative from aerosols, with a global distribution based on data from more than 400 stations distributed in different aerosol regimes. This information is key both for the characterization of atmospheric aerosols, as well as for the validation of satellite products, prediction and climate models on a global scale.

Tenerife and Hawaii, the only centers that can calibrate the reference photometers

In order to operate correctly, the network’s instruments must be calibrated through their standard photometers, with the Mauna Loa (Hawaii) and Izaña Observatories (CIAI, Tenerife) being the only two global centers that can calibrate their reference standard photometers. , an activity that must be carried out in high mountain stations to ensure that the aerosol content is very low and stable, which guarantees the quality of these calibrations. Once the reference standard photometers are calibrated at these two high mountain centers, they are sent to secondary calibration centers, where field photometers can be calibrated using these standards.

In this way, Izaña will be responsible for calibrating, from now on, the photometers of the Spanish network AERONET-Spain and the Chinese CARSNET (as it has been doing in recent years), to which are added the photometers of reference of the European network AERONET-Europe and of the American matrix of NASA.

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