MOSAiC expedition for climateThe world largest polar expedition

1 SEPTEMBER 2019 – 31 OCTOBER 2020

The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate) expedition is the largest polar expedition in history, involving hundreds of scientists from twenty countries for climate researches.

In September 2019, the German research icebreaker Polarstern set sail from Tromsø, Norway, to spend a year drifting through the Arctic Ocean, trapped in ice, to learn more about global warming and climate change.

This expedition is led by atmospheric scientist Markus Rex, and co-led by Klaus Dethloff and Matthew Shupe, MOSAiC is spearheaded by Alfred Wegener Institute, Hekmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI).

The goal of the MOSAiC expedition is to require the closest look ever at the Arctic as the epicentre of worldwide warming and to realize fundamental insights that are key to raise understand global climate changes. The objective is to assess the impact of climate change on the region and on the world as a whole and, ultimately, to improve the performance of climate models in order to obtain more realistic projections.

In this expedition, TROPOS uses one of our Photometer (CE318-T) on the Polarstern to assist the scientists by measuring the atmosphere and providing data to help understanding the climatic model of the Arctic. (Follow the TROPOS campaign here).

MOSAiC expedition 2019
Scientific teams during MOSAiC campaign – December 15, 2019

The new and upcoming studies of the Poles are very important to understand our world, allowing new openings to new applications, new opportunities and new solutions for our environment.

All the results of the analysis will produce a flood of measurement data, which will be extremely valuable for the participating researchers and their peers around the globe, and also for humanity as a whole.

The MOSAiC expedition will end on October 12th after 390 days in extreme conditions for the 600 scientists who took turns in this incredible expedition in the Arctic.

Accordingly, the policy for MOSAiC data is based on a spirit of international cooperation, which all expedition participants expressly agree to adhere to. All the data is saved in the MOSAiC database wich is accessible by scientists of each country for detailed analyses and sharing it to the different members, states participating in this incredible and historical adventure.

If you want to follow the expedition, please check the MOSAiC website here or the Polastern Blog.


Research and atmosphere monitoring never stop, even during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the Covid-19 lockdown, the automatic CIMEL micro-pulse LiDARs continued profiling the atmosphere! The CIMEL micro-pulse LiDARs do not require supervised operation or human attendance, allowing recording continuous measurements during emergency situations like the Covid-19 lockdown.

An example of continuous measurements performed by the CE376-GPN micro-pulse LiDAR (532 nm polarized and 808 nm unpolarized) along with the CE318-T Sun/Sky/Lunar photometer at Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique (LOA) in Lille, France are presented below (Fig.1).

Figure 1: Measurements by the CE376-GPN micro-pulse LiDAR along with the CE318-T photometer at LOA in Lille

Since the lockdown in France on 16 March 2020, the CIMEL micro-pulse LiDAR continues measurements, providing long time series of LiDAR data which will allow to study the impact of the lockdown on air quality.

On the examples above, two situations are presented during this period: low fine particle loading from urban background pollution and a desert dust intrusion event on 27 March 2020 (Fig.1, left) and low aerosol loading (fine particles from urban background pollution) on 5 April 2020 (Fig.1, right).

The daily mean AOD at 500 nm recorded by the CE318-T sun photometer was 0.35 for the dust event on 27 March 2020 and 0.1 for the “clean” conditions on 5 April 2020.

The desert dust intrusion event captured in CIMEL LiDAR data at Lille on 27 March 2020 is consistent with the Saharan dust intrusion forecasted by the NMMB/BSC-Dust model (See Fig.2 below), showing shallow dust layers in the 3 – 10 km altitude range (the dotted line on the dust forecast figure represents the location of Lille, France).

Figure 2: NMMB/BSC-Dust model

More recently, the CE376-GPNP micro-pulse LIDAR (Fig. 3) is operating at CIMEL in Paris, France, to provide more continuous data for the aerosols and clouds research community.

Figure 3: Measurements by the CE376-GPN micro-pulse LiDAR along with the CE318-T photometer at CIMEL in Paris

Earth Observation Satellites & Ground Monitoring  Solutions – an essential synergy for Air Quality and Climate Change

Earth Observation Satellites & Ground Monitoring  Solutions – an essential synergy for Air Quality and Climate Change

April 30, 2020

Atmospheric monitoring and climate analysis are strategic missions in order to improve the understanding of air quality dynamics and climate change evolutions. This in turn is a pre-requisite for providing reliable information reports with real data measurements and to help decision makers and end-users to understand the impacts and causes of air pollution with atmospheric impacts and to act upon it.

Satellite data is key for atmospheric and climate monitoring by providing a continuous and global view of the Earth parameters. These data are essential inputs for forecast models by improving their accuracy.

By combining satellite observations with models of the atmosphere and measurements from ground-based instruments, like Cimel Remote Sensing Solutions, it is possible to measure accurately and forecast aerosols (particles suspended in the air), as well as quantify gases level (ozonenitrogen dioxidesulphur dioxidecarbon monoxide…) and several other kind of environmental parameters (planetary boundary layer, water leaving reflectance for Ocean color, solar radiation, water vapor, atmospheric concentration profiles PM2.5/PM10…).

Cimel solutions keep working continuously and automatically, to help the calibration of satellite instruments and validate their data. Furthermore, Cimel is always active to support the various research activities from the worldwide scientific community.

In this video, different aerosols are highlighted by color, including dust (orange), sea salt (blue), nitrates (pink) and carbonaceous (red), with brighter regions corresponding to higher aerosol amounts.

See more on:

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

MSc Atmospheric Environment

MSc Atmospheric Environment: international master degree

A 2-years program graduating a Master of Science in physics or chemistry of the atmosphere, at the highest level aiming to give intendants a strong background in:

  • Physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere from the molecular to the global scale,
  • Analytical sciences applied to airborne environment,
  • Recent research activities on air pollution and climate changes.

The international Master  « Atmospheric Sciences » is supported by the french Laboratory of Excellence CaPPA which involves large complementary research projects gathering together partner teams with strong scientific qualifications. It leads top-level research activities thanks to the diversity of researchers’ disciplines and its promising research topics.

Training is dedicated to students in physics and chemistry having validated 4 years of study (Master 1st year / Bachelor / 240 ECTS-credits), wishing to follow a specialization in atmospheric sciences to get a strong background in theory and practical works.

A visit to every laboratory involved in the Labex CaPPA is organized, helping students to identify the research topic they want to specialize in.

Strengths of the training
  • Students are immersed in an international environment and all courses are delivered in English.
  • Students from more than 14 nationalities attended to our master since 2013.
  • A master degree in a stimulating scientific environment within the Graduate Program “Science for a Changing Planet“.

Additional documents:
Download the leaflet
MSc presentation (pdf)

From September 2020, this program replaces the former M2 Atmospheric Environment.

You can also find more details about the program on the website:


GPS roll-over

GPS roll-over the 3rd of November 2019 on the CE318-T

Important for existing CE318-T customers:

The GPS week counter has been reset the 3rd of November 2019.

Location data reports remained correct while the date and week number are affected. 

The CIMEL CE318-T photometer is impacted by the GPS week counter reset.

It is necessary to use the last version of the firmware for the photometer to remain operational.

Please see the related process bellow to check and update the right firmware version at your earliest convenience to fix the desynchronization.

You will need a computer and to be on site to connect on the control unit and update the firmware.

If you have any question or concern regarding the GPS roll-over issue, feel free to contact us.

Download the procedure here.

N.B.: If you are registered in AERONET, please contact the NASA AERONET team.

FIREX – AQ Mission


FIREX – AQ Mission

Approximately half of fire emissions in the US are from Northwestern wildfires and half are from prescribed fires that burn mostly in the Southeast US. Wildfires burn slightly more fuel and therefore have overall larger emissions, but prescribed fires dominate the area burned and the number of fires. FIREX-AQ will investigate both wild and prescribed fires. Wildfires generally result in exposures with larger pollution concentrations over larger areas, and cause both local and regional air quality impacts. Their emissions are often transported thousands of miles and can impact large regions of the US at a time. Prescribed fires are usually smaller and less intense than most wildfires but occur more frequently and throughout the whole year. They are usually ignited during periods that minimize population expose and air quality impacts, but can cause regional backgrounds to increase, are generally in closer proximity to populations, and are responsible for a large fraction of the US PM2.5 emissions.

This summer, NOAA and NASA are teaming up on a massive research campaign called FIREX-AQ that will use satellites, aircraft, drones, mobile and ground stations to study smoke from wildfires and agricultural crop fires across the U.S. 

Objective: To improve understanding of wildfire and agricultural fire impacts on air quality, weather, and climate.

Cimel provides a CE376 micro-LiDAR as well as its network of CE318-T photometers through AERONET. These solutions will provide detailed measurements of aerosols emitted from wildfires and agricultural fires to address science topics and evaluate impacts on local and regional air quality, and how satellite data can be used to estimate emissions more accurately.

The Primary Mission Partners are:

Paris declares itself in a “state of climatic emergency”

Paris declares itself in a “state of climatic emergency”

July 9, 2019

The City of Paris has adopted the creation of an “IPCC” (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), which will bring together experts (climatologists, urban designers, sociologists, etc.). They will be able to be consulted and play a “constant role in the implementation of climate policies”.

Like many world cities or more recently the Parliaments of the United Kingdom and Ireland, the City of Paris has declared itself in a “state of climatic emergency“. This decision was taken during a vote in the Paris Council on Tuesday, July 9. We must “meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement” adopted in December 2015, argued the assistant in charge of the Environment to the mayor of Paris, Célia Blauel.

Creation of an “IPCC Paris”

During the session, the City of Paris adopted the creation of an “IPCC Paris” which will bring together experts (climatologists, urban designers, sociologists…). They will be able to be consulted and play a “constant role in the implementation of climate policies”, added Célia Blauel.

A few months before the municipal elections, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo and her entourage have not ceased to multiply ecological projects: after the pedestrianisation of the roads on the banks, the Paris City Hall has, among other things, multiplied projects in favour of a complete greening of the streets and squares of the capital or announced the creation of “urban forests” in the middle of the city to fight against global warming and the effects of pollution.

GPS reset

GPS reset

A GPS reset initially scheduled for April 6 has been postponed to November 2, 2019. We will update the software shortly so that your instruments are not affected by this modification. Stay tuned!