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Aerosol Metrology for Climate Workshop


Cover of the Aerosol Metrology workshop report.A copy of the final workshop report is available. PDF logo
The list of speakers links to their presentations.

Atmospheric aerosols show large variations in size, morphology, chemical composition and optical properties. These variations, combined with an incomplete understanding of their evolution, yield a large uncertainty in how global aerosol loading affects the radiation budget of the Earth. Many questions arise: How much of a climate-cooling influence do aerosols presently exert? How much of the aerosol radiative forcing can be attributed to variations in cloud cover relative to direct interaction with solar radiation? How well do climate models account for the influence of aerosols? How do uncertainties in aerosol properties affect model uncertainties, and how large are those uncertainties? Does cooling due to aerosols counter warming due to greenhouse gases and how much? To address these questions, policy makers, regulators, industrial leaders, and climate scientists have a strong need for quantitative information about the physical and chemical properties of aerosol particles, particularly as they affect the interaction of aerosols with solar radiation.

Conference Overview

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is sponsoring a topical workshop to identify  the standards and measurement needs and challenges in this arena. This workshop will identify areas of high uncertainty, recognize opportunities, and stimulate new ideas — information that will accelerate the development of new measurement technologies and shape the aerosol metrology climate research agenda.


Conference Description

Workshop Agenda PDF


To identify areas of high uncertainty in aerosol properties, recognize and identify opportunities, and stimulate new ideas.

The workshop will focus on the state of the art in measuring the size, shape, chemical composition, atmospheric evolution and optical properties of aerosol particles. The workshop will bring together experts from government, industry and academia to build dialogue and strengthen collaborations to best identify challenges and opportunities, and recommend strategies by which the measurement expertise and investments of NIST and other interested parties can be targeted and leveraged.

Expected Outcome:

The outcome will be a snapshot of the modern aerosol metrology landscape and a visionary guide for future research directions at NIST and throughout the aerosol and climate community.  An official workshop report will be produced.


The workshop will open with a plenary talk followed by a programmatic overview and three structured breakout sessions on chemical/dimensional metrology, optical properties of aerosols, and modeling. Each of these sessions will be led by invited subject matter experts who will identify the state of the art and critical issues pertinent to the session and help guide discussion.  Ultimately, speakers and participants will engage in an active discussion to identify the challenges in aerosol science and standards and measurements.


Members of industry, academia and government with interests in the many aspects of aerosols and how their impact on the atmosphere and climate are assessed.

Security Instructions:

Workshop Registration is closed.

If you are not registered, you will not be allowed on site.

Registered attendees will receive security and campus instructions prior to the workshop.


All foreign national visitors who do not have permanent resident status and who wish to register for the above meeting must supply additional information. Failure to provide this information prior to arrival will result, at a minimum, in significant delays (up to 24 hours) in entering the facility. Authority to gather this information is derived from United States Department of Commerce Department Administrative Order (DAO) number 207-12. You can download the required form NIST-1260. Fill out the form and email to Donna Kimball [donna.kimball@nist.gov] or
Angela Ellis [angela.ellis@nist.gov].

Related Project(s):

For more information on NIST's Environment and Climate Science Program.


  1. Peter Buseck, Arizona State University, USA
  2. Raymond Hoff, UMBC, USA
  3. Mark Jacobson, Stanford University, USA
  4. Ralph Kahn, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA
  5. Dorothy Koch, Department of Energy, USA
  6. Charles Kolb, Aerodyne Research, Inc. , USA
  7. Rao Kotamarthi, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
  8. Daniel Lack, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, USA
  9. Carrie Masiello, Rice University, USA
  10. Frank Raes, European Commission Joint Research Centre, Italy
  11. Stephen Schwartz, Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA
  12. Rodney Weber, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
  13. Ping Yang, Texas A&M University


Start Date: Monday, March 14, 2011
End Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Location: NIST - Gaithersburg, MD
Audience: Industry, Government, Academia
Format: Workshop


Workshop Registration is closed.

Registration Contact:

Registration is closed.


Lodging information is closed.

Technical Contact:

Conference Chair

James Whetstone

Organizing Committee

Carlos Gonzalez - carlos.gonzalez@nist.gov
W. Sean McGivern - sean.mcgivern@nist.gov
Dianne Poster - dianne.poster@nist.gov
John Small - john.small@nist.gov
Roger van Zee - roger.vanzee@nist.gov

Vendor Contact:


For local NIST and Gaithersburg, MD information:

Visitors Guide

For local NIST assistance: