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Eight institutes observe the climate together


Cooperation to better follow, understand and predict the climate

Eight institutes observe the climate together

On Thursday 23 May 2002, an agreement will be signed in Cabauw by 8 cooperating institutes situated in the Netherlands. The cooperation project is called CESAR, and is in the form of a national observatory for the atmosphere. The goal of the cooperation is to be able to better follow the development of the climate and to be able to better understand and predict it. Only a few other venues in the world have such a diversity of instruments and technologies gathered at one location. In fact, CESAR is unique in Europe.

The eight partners are: the KNMI, Delft University of Technology, the RIVM, the ECN, Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, the European Space Agency ESA and TNO. The cooperation is called CESAR (Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research) and is situated at the KNMI site in Cabauw.

The scientific research of the observatory is aimed at climate changes and especially the role of the atmosphere (clouds, radiation, dust particles, greenhouse gasses etc) in these changes. The measurements are to be used as support for environment and climate policy. It also makes it possible to better observe the fulfilment of international agreements, such as the Kyoto-protocol. CESAR will become a part of a - soon to be founded - international network of observatories. CESAR also embodies the recommendation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to pay more attention to systematic observation of the climate system.

The eight institutes, each with their own specialties, give CESAR a clear edge. Coordinated observations at one location provide more information than separate observations. This is also the experience of various CESAR partners that have worked together before in the Dutch National Research Programme on Global Air Pollution and Climate Change. This “sensor synergy” makes the development of new observation techniques, which could be used in future satellite missions, possible.

Observations and research from CESAR-partners will lead to better math models to predict climate changes. This will provide a firmer foundation for national and international climate and environment policy development.

This article is being released on behalf of the eight partners of CESAR:
the KNMI (Koninklijk Nederlands Meteorologisch Instituut), Delft University of Technology, the RIVM (Rijksinstituut Volksgezondheid en Milieu), the ECN (Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland), Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University and Research Centre, the ESA (European Space Agency) and TNO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor toegepast-natuurwetenschappelijk onderzoek).

Maarten van der Sanden | alphagalileo
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