Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute; Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management

European Aerosol Research Lidar Network
EARLINET stations (December 2010)

The present knowledge of the aerosol distribution is far from sufficient to properly estimate the role of aerosols in changes of the global and regional environmental conditions and climate. Improving the observation system for aerosols will contribute to almost all areas of societal benefits listed in the GEOSS Implementation Plan. Since it is in particular the information on the vertical distribution that is lacking, advanced laser remote sensing is the most appropriate tool to close the observational gap. This was demonstrated by the systematic quantitative aerosol profiling performed within the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network (EARLINET). With EARLINET, Europe has taken the lead in this area: the improvement of continuing observations and methodological developments are urgently needed to provide the multi-year continental scale data set necessary to assess the impact of aerosols on the European and global environment and to support future satellite missions.

The EARLINET network exists as a voluntary cooperation between more than 20 research institutes with formalized long-term commitment, well distributed over the continent. An objective of the network is to improve the EARLINET infrastructure resulting in a better spatial and temporal coverage of the observations, continuous quality control for the complete observation system, and fast availability of standardized data products. This is accomplished by definition of and use of common standards for instruments, operation procedures, observation schemes, data processing including advanced retrieval algorithms, and dissemination of data. The expected outcome is the most comprehensive data source for the 4-D spatio-temporal distribution of aerosols on a continental scale.

EARLINET will make a significant contribution to the GAW program of WMO, one of the observation systems selected for the initial implementation of GEOSS, and serves as a prototype for a future world-wide aerosol profiling network.

KNMI participates in EARLINET and carries out regular observations with Caeli (CESAR Water Vapour, Aerosol and Cloud Lidar) – a high performance multi-wavelength Raman lidar.

Current Activities
  • Routine observation schedule
Other Activities
  • May 2009 – EARLI'09: EARLINET Reference Lidar Intercomparison
  • May 2008 – December 2009: Aerosols and Clouds: Long Term Database from Spaceborne Lidar Measurements; EARLINET’s Spaceborne-lidar-related Activity During the CALIPSO Mission
Contact Details

Last update: 18 March 2016