The conference was organized by Frankfurt University, coordinator of the EU project CLOUD-ITN. More than 90 scientists from France, Germany, USA, UK, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Portugal, Italy, and from the European Research Organisation CERN took part in a vital discussion on the new results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN and challenges of modern aerosol research.


  • A picture of the CLOUD experiment highlights the CERN public web page titled "The non-LHC experiments in 2012" on February 21st. 


  • The CLOUD-ITN Summer School 2011 took place in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, from September 25th to October 2nd at the Centre for Geo-sciences of Frankfurt University.

The Summer School started on Sunday with a guided tour around Frankfurt am Main. The guide, who introduced himself as a "real native Hessenian", showed the group around sights related to Johann Wolfgang Goethe. J.W. Goethe was famous German poet and thinker. The University of Frankfurt is named after him. 
On Monday, September 26, the program started with a course on IGOR programming, given by Andreas Kürten from Frankfurt University. The training continued with a session on scientific presentation skills. Guided by Joachim Curtius (Frankfurt University) and Jasper Kirkby (CERN), the students of the Summer School used the opportunity to discuss and improve their presentation techniques.Two more days were filled with classes on "Scientific Writing Skills" by Richard Flagan from California Institute of Technology and "Preparing for Disputation" by Tanja Meyer-Trischan from the Uni-Support Düsseldorf.  On Saturday the participants of the CLOUD-ITN Summer School visited the Observatory of Frankfurt University in Taunus.

  •     The CLOUD Data Workshop on September 28-29 was incorporated into the Summer School. Many of the researchers of the CLOUD project at CERN came to Frankfurt in order to discuss results of recent CLOUD experiments and to plan the next campaign. All of the students of the Summer School gave presentations. Urs Baltensperger from PSI mentioned that the quality of their talks had improved. 

  •     On 25 August 2011 first results of the CLOUD experiment at CERN were published in the well-recognized scientific journal "Nature":
    Kirkby et al., "Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation", nature, 25.8.2011, DOI 10.1038/nature10343.
    "These new results from CLOUD are important because we have made a number of first observations of some very important atmospheric processes", said the experiment's spokesperson, Jasper Kirkby, "We have found that cosmic rays significantly enhance the formation of aerosol particles in the mid troposphere and above. These aerosols could eventually grow into the seeds for clouds. However, we have also found that the vapours previously thought to account for all aerosol formation in the lower atmosphere can only account for a small fraction of the observations - even with the enhancement of cosmic rays."
    Joachim Curtius, co-ordinator of the CLOUD-ITN project, said: "Based on these first results of the CLOUD experiment we see that the description of the aerosol nucleation in atmospheric and climate models should be revised. Furthermore, we have to start searching for further chemical components, which affect the nucleation processes in the lower atmosphere, and we have to find out in how far these other chemical components are influenced by ions." (read more in press releases)

  •    The fourth series of nucleation experiments with the CLOUD aerosol chamber was conducted from 13 June-24 July 2011 at CERN. All the participants of the CLOUD-ITN project and other researchers from Europe, North America and Russia took part in the measurements of ion-induced and neutral nucleation.

  •     A Special Issue for "The CLOUD experiment at CERN" is established in July 2011 at the open access journal "Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics".

  •     October 2010 - May 2011. The CLOUD chamber was upgraded with an improved thermal housing and a more powerful cooling unit.

  •     From the 16th to the 18th of February 2011 the Physical Department of Vienna University hosted the CLOUD-ITN Open Data Workshop. More than 60 scientists from France, Germany, USA, UK, Finland, Switzerland, Russia, Portugal, Italy, and from the European Research Organisation CERN took part in a vital discussion on the history and present state of the aerosol atmospheric science.
    Contributions of young researchers of the CLOUD-ITN project as well as  talks of distinguished scientists were discussed with great interest.
    The overall technical and research progress of the CLOUD project at CERN had been discussed at the beginning of the week. Directly afterwards the Open Data Workshop started. The aerosol scientific community looks forward to the publication of the results of several runs of the CLOUD experiment. The respective paper had been discussed during the workshop and was submitted to the scientific journal Nature last week.
    On Wednesday, Februray 16th, the Supervisory Board meeting of the CLOUD-ITN EU Marie Curie project took place. Joachim Curtius (Goethe-University of Frankfurt), Coordinator of the project, reported that all the obligations of the Grant Agreement for the period from August 2008 until today had been completely fulfilled. He presented the further plans on recruitment and on the Frankfurter CLOUD-ITN Summer School 2011. The PIs of CLOUD-ITN as well as further members of the project's Supervisory Board – Ulrike Lohmann (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), Oliver Bishop (TSI Incorporated), and Frank Arnold (Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics) – mentioned the great success regarding the progress of the CLOUD-Initial Training Network. General  problems of the recruitment of young scientists were also discussed.

  •     A conference on "Marie Curie Actions for an Innovative Europe" took place on 9-10 December in Brussels. Its aim was to increase the awareness of policy makers and politicians for the importance of the Marie Curie Actions. The event was opened by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, together with European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek and Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, who has overall responsibility for the Marie Curie programme (Press releases RAPID). Jonathan Duplissy, a researcher of CLOUD-ITN, was invited by the Research Executive Agency among other 25 young scientists to give a presentation. His talk "Do galactic cosmic rays influence cloud formation?" was a great success. The European Commission has highly appreciated the contribution of the CLOUD project to the development of European research.

  •     NATURE BLOG POSTS : Sunny days for CLOUD experiment  - December 15, 2010:  An experiment designed to investigate the link between solar activity and the climate has its first results in the bag. At the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco today, Joachim Curtius presented data from the first runs of the CLOUD ('cosmics leaving outdoor droplets') experiment at CERN - the European particle physics lab outside of Geneva...

  •     All the young researches of CLOUD-ITN presented their results at the  International Aerosol Conference, IAC 2010, Helsinki, 29 August – 3 September 2010. Agnieszka Kupc from Vienna University won for her poster A unique UV fibre-optic system for H2SO4 production inside the CLOUD chamber  one of the 10 Best Poster Awards of IAC 2010.

  •     Between 31 May and 5 July 2010, the second series of nucleation experiments with the new CLOUD chamber took place at CERN. Ion-induced nucleation initiated by ions produced from the CERN beamline and/or from natural Galactic Cosmic Rays was studied as well as "neutral" nucleation without the involvement of ions. Nucleation was studied for various concentrations of gaseous sulphuric acid and relative humidity in the chamber. For the first time experiments were performed not only near room temperature but also at 5 and -25°C. Various state-of-the-art instruments were operated for time resolved and comprehensive characterization of trace gases, ions, ion clusters and aerosol particles .

  •    On 22 June 2010, CERN hosted the CLOUD-ITN Mid-Term Review meeting. It started with a tour of the CLOUD facility in the Proton Synchrotron East Hall while an experiment took place. Thereafter, CLOUD-ITN Scientific Coordinator Joachim Curtius reported the overall progress of the CLOUD-ITN project and achievements of the first two years of the collaboration. Each of the 10 CLOUD-ITN fellows gave a presentation on their research, their training program and their experiences as a Marie Curie fellow. In an open discussion between all scientists in charge, the fellows of the CLOUD-ITN project, the Project Officer M. Genachte from the European Research Agency and the Scientific Reviewer Dr. U. Krieger the status of the project, experiences with the ITN structures and potential needs for changes were discussed.

  •     The preliminary results of the CLOUD-09 experiment at CERN were discussed during the first data workshop (25.01-28.01.2010) at Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Switzerland. The workshop was hosted by the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry at PSI. After presentation of an overview talk by CLOUD spokesperson Jasper Kirkby on the main results of the experiment run, all the CLOUD-ITN young researchers presented details of their individual data analysis from the measurements of the CLOUD-09 campaign. Small working groups were formed to work on specific aspects of the integral data analysis.
    During the first run of the new CLOUD experiment at CERN a plenty of high-precision, state-of-the-art instrumentation was operated. The measurements included monitoring of the gas phase sulphuric acid concentration, concentration of nucleation mode aerosol particles, ion cluster concentrations, temperature, relative humidity and many other parameters in the CLOUD aerosol chamber during the experiment. The natural galactic cosmic ray intensity as well as the parameters of the beam from the Proton Synchrotron have been registered with high precision by the Particle Beam Hodoscope and a GCR counter.

  •     On October 7th 2009 the Supervisory Board of CLOUD-ITN held its meeting at CERN, chaired by Joachim Curtius. Representatives of the institutions - participants and associated partners of the project - discussed the successful finishing of the recruitment phase of CLOUD-ITN. For all the 10 positions, granted in frames of the project, brilliant young researchers have been recruited. At the moment they are working together with the whole team of the CLOUD experiment at CERN.
    During the meeting results of the Winter and Summer Schools 2009 were discussed as well, and the future plans of training activities were detailed. The progress of the CLOUD-ITN project was evaluated by the Supervisory Board as excellent.

  •    A Summer School organized by the IfT (Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig) and supported by GAeF (German Aerosol Foundation) and CLOUD-ITN took place from August 16th till 28th 2009 in Rabenberg. 20 students from all over Europe and Canada have had the possibility to improve their knowledge in topics related to atmospheric aerosol, clouds, and atmospheric chemical processes. The young researchers could also upgrade their scientific writing and presentation skills. The following scientists from the CLOUD-ITN project gave lectures during the Summer School: Joachim Curtius (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), Jasper Kirkby (CERN, Switzerland), Frank Stratmann (IfT, Germany), Ken Carslaw (University of Leeds, UK) and Heike Wex (IfT, Germany).

  •    One of the mile stones of the CLOUD-ITN project, the 10-days Winter School, entitled "Physics and chemistry of air pollution and their effects: field course and data analysis", was organized by the University of Helsinki. It was started on March 16, 2009 at the Kumpula campus, Department of Physics, University of Helsinki and then continued at the Hyytiälä Forestry Field station in Southern Finland. The Course involved 2-3 lectures per day. However, the main emphasis of the course was on group work as well as the writing of a scientific report about this group work in the aftermath of the course. The course was aimed at PhD students and advanced MSc students of atmospheric sciences. In the course, students utilized 13 years of aerosol, gas, ion and meteorological data measured at the SMEAR II station (Station for Measuring Forest Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations). SMEAR II is a unique field measurement station designed for continuous study of the phenomena, which couple physical, chemical and biological features, and thus require diverse instrumentation and know-how. The SMEAR II station provides aerosol and environmental physicists and atmospheric chemists with a rare opportunity to work in a close cooperation with forest ecologists. 35 young researchers from 8 countries had the possibility to learn more about aerosol optics and dynamics, air ions and effects of pollution on ecosystems. They were able to obtain academic writing skills and had fun discussing science philosophy in the class room during the working day and in the sauna in the evening.

  •     On September 30th, 2008, 19 scientists from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Portugal, Russia and Switzerland were discussing in Vienna, Austria, the progress on constructing the aerosol chamber at CERN.  The recruitment of researchers and their training activity for the implementation of both of the CLOUD and CLOUD-ITN projects, financial issues, and the Consortium Agreement were also important items of the agenda of this collaboration meeting. In order to proceed effectively with the recruitment of researchers a flyer of CLOUD-ITN has been created and broadly distributed.

  •    From August 4th to 14th, 2008, a summer school on the formation and growth of atmospheric aerosols took place at Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station, Finland. It was organized by Markku Kulmala, professor of the University of Helsinki, one of the participants of the project CLOUD-ITN. Joachim Curtius, coordinator of CLOUD-ITN and professor at Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, gave a talk about the CLOUD-ITN project and ion-induced nucleation that was well received by the students.

  •    The international research project CLOUD-ITN has started on August 1st 2008. The acronym of the project results from "Cosmics Leaving OUtdoor Droplets – Initial Training Network". By sponsoring CLOUD-ITN as part of the 7th Framework Program "People - Marie-Curie Actions", the European Community supports fundamental research on the potential influence of cosmic radiation on Earth’s climate. A total of 8 Ph.D. positions and 2 postdoctoral positions will be funded within the project.

  •    On June 12th, 2008, the Kickoff Meeting of the project took place at the Airport Conference Centre in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The main items of the meeting were the strategies for recruiting of young scientists for the project as well as some organizational aspects.