​ Ground Observations

Continuous monitoring of key atmospheric constituents, complemented by intensive observation periods addressing specific knowledge gaps, are necessary to understand how atmospheric composition has changed and is changing in time and space; what are the main sources and processes that are driving these changes, either induced by human activities or linked to natural phenomena, either cause or consequence of climate change.

To this purpose, ISAC operates a unique set of observational facilities in Italy and contributes to atmospheric monitoring at national and international research stations around the world. In Italy, ISAC is responsible for seven atmospheric observatories distributed across the country, at strategic locations for monitoring the atmospheric composition in the Mediterranean area. These facilities include: a global (Mt. Cimone) and three regional (Lecce, Lamezia Terme, Capo Granitola) GAW-WMO stations, plus three atmospheric observatories at rural, suburban and urban locations (San Pietro Capofiume, Roma-Tor Vergata, Bologna). ISAC also runs and coordinates the first national network of ceilometers (Alicenet, the http://www.alice-net.eu/ only Italian contributor to the E-Profile EUMETNET program https://e-profile.eu), and the European Skynet international network of photometers (EuroSkyrad). ISAC takes part to the European Research Infrastructures for environmental studies, and specifically to “Integrated Carbon Observation System” (ICOS, https://www.icos-cp.eu/, implemented at the station of Mt. Cimone) and “Aerosols, Clouds and Trace Gases” (ACTRIS, http://www.actris.it/index.php/it/, involving the stations of Mt. Cimone, Lecce, Lamezia Terme and Capo Granitola). In addition, ISAC performs observations in the Arctic and in Antarctica, and for almost a decade has carried out continuous observations at the Mt. Everest (5079 m asl), within the GAW station Nepal Climate Observatory – Pyramid (NCO-P).

ISAC also operates mobile facilities to be deployed during specific field campaigns. These include instrumented vans, balloons, and compact payloads to be operated on board of vessels and/or airplanes. The instrumental set up of these facilities includes in situ and remote sensing techniques for the investigation of the atmospheric thermodynamic structure, aerosol physical and chemical properties, atmospheric greenhouse and reactive trace gases and water in the gas, liquid and solid phase.

Research Projects:

  • ICOS “Integrated Carbon Observation System”
  • ACTRIS “Aerosols, Clouds and Trace Gases”:
    • Preparatory phase: ACTRIS-IMP
    • New projects in the frame of ACTRIS-IT: FOE-DTA ACTRIS and PER_ACTRIS_IT 
  • FORCeS “Constrained aerosol forcing for improved climate projections” - H2020 LC-CLA-08-2018.
  • MAPP “Metrology for Aerosol optical Properties” - EMPIR-EURAMET- H2020.
  • “The cryosphere in a changing Arctic: understanding feedbacks to climate change”, ENI-CNR joint research agreement 2019-2024.
  • ECOMOBILITY “ECOlogical supporting for traffic Management in cOastal areas By using an InteLlIgenT sYstem” - Interreg Italy-Croatia 2014-2018.
  • OT4CLIMA “Sviluppo di tecnologie innovative di Osservazione della Terra per lo studio del Cambiamento Climatico e dei suoi impatti su ambiente e territorio” - PON Cluster 2014-2020.
  • PAPER “Paper Analyser for Particulate Exposure Risk” - POR Puglia FESR-FSE 2014-2020.
  • RHAPS “Redox-activity and Health-effects of Atmospheric Primary and Secondary aerosol” - PRIN 2017.
  • DustClim “Dust Storms Assessment for the development of user-oriented Climate Services in Northern Africa, Middle East and Europe” - EC-ERA4CS-H2020 (https://sds-was.aemet.es/projects-research/dustclim)
  • InDust “International Network to Encourage the Use of Monitoring and Forecasting Dust Products” - EC-COST
  • ATMO-ACCESS "Access to Atmospheric Research Facilities"