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Credit: Raymond Sluiter

New European research network for improving weather and climate models

On 25 April 2023, the EU-commission established ACTRIS as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) for atmospheric research. Seventeen European countries, including the Netherlands, are now working together to study climate and air quality data using the most modern techniques.

The goal of ACTRIS is to collect knowledge to improve weather and climate models and to make better policy for air quality. To this end, researchers carry out both ground measurements and measurements in the higher air layers. The basic data for research on climate, air quality and the link between climate and air quality are available to everyone.

Best research facilities in Europe

Thanks to European cooperation, researchers can make use of the best research facilities in Europe. The ACTRIS facilities together form the largest atmospheric research network in the world. ACTRIS provides researchers with 80 observation platforms.

Ruisdael Observatory

The observation platform in Cabauw is the Dutch research station in ACTRIS. Here, researchers look at aerosols, clouds and trace gases. The measuring program is carried out using measuring instruments in the 213-metre-high measuring mast and measuring equipment in the area around the mast.

At Cabauw, KNMI, TU-Delft, TNO, Utrecht University, RIVM, Wageningen University and Research, VU-Amsterdam and the University of Groningen are working together in the Ruisdael Observatory. Ruisdael Observatory received a grant from NWO in 2018 to prepare for participation in European networks, of which ACTRIS is one.

Quality improvement

In addition, the Netherlands offers the facilities and expertise for calibrating advanced radar systems for cloud observations and for large-scale international comparison of remote sensing instruments for measuring trace gases. In this way, the Netherlands makes a significant contribution to improving the quality of the network, which can then be used to validate weather and climate models and satellite instruments.

All ACTRIS services are accessible through this website.