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HILDAE – HIgh Latitude Dust in a changing Arctic Environment

The high latitude dust (HLD), i.e. the mineral dust aerosols emitted by wind erosion processes in arid areas northern than 50°N, is an emerging and crucial component of the Arctic climate system with influences on the terrestrial, atmospheric, marine and cryosphere compartments. The role of HLD in the Arctic environment is expected to progressively increase in the next years and decades because of emissions increase in a warming climate due to both increasing exposure of natural sources (reduction of glaciers and ice– and snow–covered surfaces for a growing fraction of the year) and rising impact of anthropogenic activities (mines extraction to exploit more and more the natural resources of the Arctic; road dust). How the HLD will impact the Arctic environment, how it will contribute to its regional climate changes and how it will impact the global climate evolution in the near future is a key question to which the scientific community is required to provide answers.

The HILDAE service will be focussed on coordinating and harmonizing activities in relation to HLD in the Arctic. The objective will be to define a synergistic research strategy approach and derive a roadmap of actions and required observational needs for responding to HLD studies and effective project building. In particular, the activity will aim at facing the following questions:

  • Which are the key variables that we need to monitor to assess the climatic impact of HLD in the Arctic?
  • How to integrate advanced state–of–the–art experimental approaches (long–term observations, intensive campaigns, laboratory experiments, available and future satellite measurements) to get holistic understanding of the role of HLD in present and future development of climate scenarios?
  • How we can contribute with science and observational efforts to provide guidance for policymakers to mitigate the climate and air quality impacts of HLD of relevance for life and economy of the Arctic populations?

Being capable of understanding the role of different factors in the equilibrium of this fragile region of the Earth and understanding how different forcing agents contribute to alter this equilibrium is of crucial importance for projecting and mitigating climate change in the Arctic.

The expected outcomes of the present service will consist in the creation of an active consortium of scientists working together to lead coordinated research. A roadmap of actions and required observational needs to converge in larger project development by the participants to the current proposal will be established.





Claudia Di Biagio (PI)

Paola Formenti

Pasquale Sellitto

LISA (Laboratoire Interuniversitaire des systèmes atmosphériques), UMR CNRS 7583, France


Alcide Giorgio di Sarra

Daniela Meloni

Laboratory for Measurements and Observations for Environment and Climate Italian National Agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA), Italy


Silvia Becagli

University of Florence Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff”, Italy


Giovanni Muscari

INGV (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology), Italy


Christian Juncher Jørgensen

Aarhus University, Department of Ecoscience – Arctic Environment, Denmark


James King

University of Montreal, Department of Geography, Canada