Dr. Martin de Graaf, who also works for the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), arrived on the shores of Ascension Island earlier this month to join an international group of scientists involved with CLARIFY-2016.

The project, which stands for ‘CLoud-Aerosol-Radiation Interactions and Forcing: Year 2016,’ is using satellites and sophisticated ground and aircraft measurement instruments to create a map of the properties within cloud droplets and smoke. One of these tools is called a ground-based polarising UV-lidar and it shoots beams of laser light into the atmosphere in order to measure the size of these droplets. The project should provide the team with a better understanding of the interactions that take place between clouds, radiation and particles and how they might contribute to climate change. Current climate models contain inaccuracies that they hope to clear up.