ΝΕΟ data

Since 5 April 2011, the atmospheric research station is up and running. The measurements for the optical properties of atmospheric aerosols during the period 07/04–17/05/2011 are presented. The blue line corresponds to the scattering of light by the particles while the red to the absorption at visible wavelengths. Please note the different scale in the two axes. What is worth noticing is an event which took place on 1 May. During that day, a so called “Sahara dust event” resulted to the transport of great amounts of dust particles from the arid areas of the Sahara desert towards Eastern Mediterranean. That was obvious in the data for light scattering, a spike in the nephelometer data for that day. Calculating air mass back trajectories (using HYSPLIT model of NOAA) for that particular day, meaning calculating the origin of the measured air masses, it was obvious that the air arriving at Costa Navarino came from Sahara desert (upper panel of figure).

Scientific research and cooperation in NEO

The Mediterranean area faces considerable environmental and climatic challenges in the coming decades. In addition to the long-standing problems of marine-, atmospheric- and terrestrial pollution, future climate change is predicted to lead to significant changes in this part of the world. Particularly the Ionian and the Aegean Seas have been described as the cross roads of transboundary transport of air pollutants and atmospheric aerosols, which play an important role in the radiation balance of the region and therefore influence climate change. Climate change is predicted to lead to higher summer temperatures and an increase in drought events and the frequency of the occurrence of forest fires. All these will significantly affect the society and the tourism industry in particular in the coming decades.