The Global Aerosol Synthesis and Science Project (GASSP) is a research project supported by the Natural Environment Research Council to improve our understanding of global aerosol effects on climate.
The aim of GASSP is to reduce the uncertainty in the effect of aerosols on climate as much as possible based on present observing systems and models. This will be achieved by using a very large global dataset of aerosol measurements to evaluate and calibrate a global aerosol model.
- GASSP is a collaboration of global atmospheric modellers in the UK and several international aerosol measurement scientists.
- The model improvements will be achieved by using a comprehensive synthesis of aerosol observations together with statistical modelling to test and improve the model processes.
- GASSP focuses on reducing the uncertainty in global models of cloud-active aerosols, which control the effect of aerosols on clouds and climate. This requires an understanding of aerosol particle number concentrations, sizes and chemical composition. Measurements of these aerosol properties can’t be obtained globally by satellite, so GASSP aims to exploit a wide array of measurements from ground sites, aircraft and ships.
- GASSP has the explicit aim to widen participation to enable the entire aerosol measurement community to become involved. Initially funded for 3 years, GASSP is foreseen as an ongoing effort to continually improve global models by synthesising the latest observations.
The fundamental premise of GASSP is that only a small fraction of the community’s enormous investment in atmospheric aerosol measurements is ultimately used to test and improve models. There is huge potential to improve our understanding of global aerosol and climate by bringing together data in a model synthesis effort.