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The aerosol_cci products of aerosol optical properties and aerosol type are expected to provide a new insight into uncertain parameters of the global atmospheric aerosol. New and improved ESA satellite remote sensing products and updated algorithms are expected to establish tighter constrains in aerosol-climate modelling. In particular the large uncertainty on anthropogenic aerosol forcing but also the assessment of aerosol effects and aerosol trends require the use of all data resources. An important part of the project is to establish a transparent and documented link to existing satellite and climate model products of aerosol forcing. However, also the importance of aerosol cloud interactions requires additional careful consideration, so that cloud and aerosol products can be used in a consistent way to improve our understanding of these.
It is foreseen to establish close contact to several key international scientific communities. A major action with respect to all institutions listed below is an intensive exchange in the initial project phase to establish feasible and useful requirements for the products. A dedicated workshop will be organised for this purpose in collaboration with the Climate Modelling User Group (CMUG) within the ESA CCI programme. Relations to those international bodies, their relevance and the type of interaction with them have been identified to the best possible at this point:
·        IPCC-UNFCC: This is the most important end-user for the ESA-CCI program. Aerosol_cci participants contribute as lead or contributing authors to the process of AR5. Dedicated publications with new aerosol climatological datasets of Aerosol_cci will be made available for IPCC authors. Aerosol_cci products will be made available to the climate model evaluation and inter-comparison teams (AEROCOM, CMIP5, ACC). The challenges and problems of aerosol trend analysis are critically examined and reported to the aerosol monitoring community working in support of IPCC.
·        WMO: This is a crucial international body for the central coordination of ground-based validation data and for the organisation of international atmospheric science cooperation. Several project participants are member of WMO bodies, such as the GAW Science Advisory Group on aerosols or the Steering group of the Sand and Dust Storm Warning System. WMO bodies are directly approached to provide requirements for improving the world observation system for aerosols.
·        GMES: The GMES service component depends on Earth observation data, collected from space (satellites). Aerosol_cci attempts to help securing the sustainability of an information infrastructure necessary to produce output information in the form of maps, datasets, reports and targeted alerts. The project attempts to coordinate existing Earth observation-based services in Europe, which are dispersed at national or regional level.
·        AEROCOM / CMIP5 / IGAC AC&C: These initiatives represent the major scientific communities of aerosol-climate modellers, which ultimately feed new scientific findings into the IPCC assessment process. Aerosol_cci partners coordinate AEROCOM. AEROCOM workshops are held every year and are used to obtain direct feedback from modellers, as well as advertising and exposing the products and evaluation results. Aerosol_cci products are be fed into the AEROCOM evaluation tools and are thus directly comparable to a large set of aerosol model simulations and NASA satellite products, as well as ground-based aerosol observations. 
·        UNECE-HTAP: Emission scenarios from combined air quality and climate policies are under investigation in the HTAP task force. Since hemispheric transport of aerosol pollution can be a major contribution to aerosol forcing of climate, global products, especially over land, and speciation of aerosol types will be advertised to the air pollution community. Members of the project participate in the HTAP process.
Liaison with ECMWF and MACC
The global aerosol (G-AER) sub project of MACC is a user interested in obtaining (better) satellite aerosol datasets for reanalysis. It is therefore contribute its requirements for the aerosol_cci project and – within available resources – is interested to evaluate products for potential assimilation into the IFS-AER model system. MACC / G-AER would particularly appreciate any improvement towards one consistent long-term record from ATSR instruments (and sentinel successor). A good uncertainty qualification of satellite aerosol products is critical for data assimilation. Synergetic products may add further information for aerosol monitoring. MACC / G-AER fields will be available for inter-comparison / validation of aerosol_cci results.
The satellite data (D-SAT) sub project of MACC includes production and validation of two global aerosol datasets (AATSR and SYNAER) with algorithms available in 2009. Any improvement of these algorithms which can be achieved in aerosol_cci will feed back into MACC / D-SAT.
Liaison with other ECV consortia
Within the ESA CCI program aerosol_cci is interacting with other selected ECV consortia by participation in respective dedicated workshops to assure consistency of climate information; in this regard guidance by the CMUG is also expected and is implemented in aerosol_cci. A specific relation exists with the ECV on cloud properties, because both aerosol and cloud properties are needed for studies of the aerosol indirect effect – here consistency of the partitioning / masking between these two atmosphere components and especially in the twilight zone is strongly needed.