The 15th CTWF International Symposium on Atmospheric Aerosol (19-24 September 2016) and the International Lecture Courses on Atmospheric Aerosols (25-27 September 2016) were successfully held in Beijing, China. The events, which were hosted by COMSATS’ Centre of Excellence in China, the International Center for Climate and Environment Sciences (ICCES), were co-organized by COMSATS, CAS-TWAS-WMO Forum (CTWF), the Aerosol Comparisons between Observations and Models (AeroCom), and the International Satellite Aerosol Science Network (AeroSAT). The events were attended by over 150 participants belonging to Iran, Pakistan, Norway, China, USA, Sweden, Finland, Japan, Netherlands, France, Nigeria, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Ghana, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Belgium, and Switzerland.
The 15th CTWF International Symposium on ‘Atmospheric Aerosol’ was inaugurated on 19th September 2016, at the Foreign Experts Building, Beijing. The opening ceremony of the event included the addresses by Dr. Kai Feng (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China), Dr. Yifen Pu (Chinese Academy of Sciences, China), Dr. Xiaohong Liu (University of Wyoming, USA), Dr. Mian Chin (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA), Dr. Thomas Popp (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR), Germany), and Dr. Ralph Kahn (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA).
The event that spanned six days had 15 technical sessions that featured 50 technical presentations and invited lectures on different areas related to atmospheric aerosol, as well as several discussion sessions. The topics covered during the symposium, inter alia, included: air pollution-climate change relationship; aerosols-cloud interactions; dust storms; effects of aerosol on air quality and surface radiation trends; using satellite datasets for studying aerosol; indirect effects of aerosol; effects of aerosols on the poles; employing different climatic models to assess the impacts of atmospheric aerosol; uncertainties in the satellite datasets related to atmospheric aerosols, etc. Moreover, three poster presentation sessions were arranged to enable the participants to show-case their research efforts and results related to the theme of the event.
The symposium was followed by the three-day International Lecture Courses on ‘Atmospheric Aerosol’, which commenced on 25th September 2016. During the opening ceremony, Prof. Lin Zhaohui, Director ICCES, China, shed light on the programme of the event as well as introduced subject experts/speakers who would deliver the lectures. He noted that atmospheric aerosol poses serious threat to all regions of the world, especially the East Asian countries, and stressed the need of studying and creating related models for the same in order to mitigate its effects. Prof. Brian Toon (University of Colorado, USA), one of the subject experts/speakers of the event, noted that atmospheric aerosol results in the death of about seven million people around the globe every year, including one million deaths in China. He further informed that about twenty thousand people die every year in USA due to air pollution. Prof. Toon highlighted the need of sensitizing the political leaders of the world regarding the significance and impacts of air pollution. Giving his remarks on the theme of the event, Mr. Farhan Ansari, Sr. Assistant Director Programmes, COMSATS, noted that atmospheric aerosol production from anthropogenic sources has increased significantly during the recent past, which are impacting the air-quality, visibility, cloud formation, radiation budget, as well as human health around the globe. He stressed the need for further investigating the atmospheric aerosol on the basis of long-term datasets at local and regional levels for effective mitigation measures.
The event featured 13 invited lectures delivered by five subject experts belonging to USA and China. Prof. Brian Toon imparted lectures on topics, including relationship of aerosol with Asian monsoon, effects of volcanic eruptions on climate change, clouds-aerosol relationship on earth and mars, etc. Prof. Margaret Tolbert (University of Colorado, USA) made lectures on particulate water in atmospheric aerosol, and cirrus cloud formation in the upper troposphere. Dr. Mian Chin (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, USA) covered models used to study atmospheric aerosol. Prof. Hong Liao (Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, China) discussed historical changes and climatic effects of aerosols in China, while Prof. Xiaohong Liu (University of Wyoming, USA) gave an overview of aerosol-cloud-climate interactions. The events concluded with distribution of certificates among the local and foreign participants.
The two events facilitated the exchange of knowledge, expertise and skills among the participants belonging to research organizations from various developing and developed countries for assessing the impacts of atmospheric aerosol on environment over different regions of the world, to facilitate more informed mitigation measures at national and regional levels.