Updated 2016-06-16

Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure - ACTRIS  is a research infrastructure on the ESFRI roadmap from March 2016. ACTRIS is currently supported by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme (H2020-INFRAIA-2014-2015) from 1 May 2015 to 30 April 2019.


The objectives of ACTRIS Research Infrastructure

Detecting changes and trends in atmospheric composition and understanding their impact on the stratosphere and upper troposphere is necessary for establishing the scientific links and feedbacks between climate change and atmospheric composition.

  • The primary objective of ACTRIS is to provide the 4D-variability of clouds and of the physical, optical and chemical properties of short-lived atmospheric species, from the surface throughout the troposphere to the stratosphere, with the required level of precision, coherence and integration.
  • The second objective is to provide effective access to this information and the means to more efficiently use the complex and multi-scale ACTRIS parameters serving a vast community of users working on models, satellite retrievals, and analysis and forecast systems.
  • The third objective is to raise the level of technology used in the RI and the quality of services offered to the community of users, involving partners from the private sector.
  • Finally, the fourth objective of ACTRIS is to promote training of operators and users and enhance the linkage between research, education and innovation in the field of atmospheric science.
This is not a National Implementation Plan (NIP) project

Time frame

Project time span
2011 -
Data collection
2000 -
Data processing
2001 -
Data reporting
2001 -

Contact information

Contact person
Gelsomina Pappalardo

Consiglio Nationale delle Ricerche
Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale (CNR-IMAA)
Contrada S. Loja, Tito Scalo zone industriale, Potenza
85050 Italy

+39 0971 427265
Other project contacts

Project Co-coordinator
Dr. Paolo Laj
Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
Laboratoire de Glaciologie et  Géophysique de l'Environnement (CNRS-LGGE)
Université Joseph Fourrier
54 rue Molière
38402 Saint Martin d'Hères cedex, France
+33 476 82 42 77


Lead ACTRIS Norway and coordinator of ACTRIS Data Centre
Dr. Cathrine Lund Myhre
NILU - Norsk institutt for luftforskning
Norwegian Institute for Air Research
Dept. Atmospheric and Climate Research

Tlf: +47 – 63 89 80 42

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Climate change effects
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.

Almost 135 different atmospheric variables are included in ACTRIS and about 70 sites are active.

  •  ca 100 different trace gases measured near the surface
  •  10 aerosol variables measured near the surface
  •  10 aerosol profile variables
  •  8 cloud profile variables

The measurements are done with 30 different methodologies with time resolution ranging from seconds to 1 week.


Regions studied
Climate change effects
Climate change effects
Climate change effects
Other areas

European focus, but sites also north of 60 degrees (4 in operation) and one at Antarctica (Troll). 

Stations or areas where observations are made

Zeppelin Observatory is the Arctic station. Several other stations at high latitudes; Finland (2), Sweden (2), Norway (1 in addition to Zeppelin). In total ca 70 stations submit data under ACTRIS.

Sites and distribution can be retrieved from here:

Data availability

Are data archived or planned to be archived at an AMAP Thematic Data Centre?
Data availability and access

All data are available from the ACTRIS data portal:  

The primary data are archived in 3 topic data bases:
- EBAS for ACTRIS near surface data (aerosol and reactive gases)
- EARLINET DB for ACTRIS aerosol profiles
- Cloudnet DB for ACTRIS cloud profile data

ACTRIS started in 2011, but is founded on earlier EU-projects hence the first data goes back to ca the year 2000, and gradually increasing since then.

Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

The measurements are resulting from ca. 30 different methodologies: near surface measurements (both sampling and continuous measurements), profiles and total column, with time resolution ranging from seconds to 1 week.

Variables, procedures and methodologies are introduced in the ACTRIS Data Management Plan: More Information is also available at ACTRIS web.

QA/QC Information (what QA/QC procedures are implemented, laboratories involvment in QA/QC activities, model verification/validation routines, etc.)

Comprehensive QA/QC procedures are implemented through a set of calibration centres, and the data centre. See ACTRIS Data Management Plan:, and contact also coordinators for more information.

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

31 partners from ca 25 European countris: 

Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

No, but the project leads harmonisation efforts with GAW-WMO programmes on aerosols and reactive trace gases. 

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