Valladolid University plans to conduct research on atmospheric particles in the Sahara. 

Valladolid, 10 ago (EFE) .-The study of the ultramicroscopic solid and liquid particles suspended in the atmosphere of North Africa within a territory that is located the Sahara Desert, is the future target for the Optics Atmospheric University of Valladolid (UVA). 

The head of the research group and professor at UVA, Angel de Frutos, explained today at a press conference that his team currently measure atmospheric aerosol particles-in Spain, Portugal, all the European region of Scandinavia, in Germany and Cuba, and his next goal is to expand its activities in northern Africa, an area of "great scientific interest". 

This group and the Institute of Meteorology of Cuba have today extended a collaboration agreement signed in 2007, by which the Spanish university maintains some measuring devices in the station in the town of Camagüey to draw conclusions on aerosols in the atmosphere of the Caribbean, an area "very little exploited in scientific terms", he explained De Frutos. 

The representative of the Cuban Institute, Juan Carlos Antuña, has detailed that the study of the presence of aerosols in the environment is a subject of international concern, as it improves the knowledge of the atmosphere and the processes that occur in it, a matter for all the inhabitants of the planet. At this time, at the base of Camagüey are installed two instruments for conducting measurement of these elements, a sun photometer and a particle analyzer.

Both are used by the team of Cuban scientists, who were trained in its use by the research group from Valladolid. The economic situation in the Caribbean country prevents purchasing these advanced technological devices.  Because of that situation his "perfectly" trained scientists get advantage of this series of agreements in order to manage those state of the art devices, underlined De Frutos. "Science does not belong to a region of the planet, it is a universal heritage of human knowledge and the real development will be achieved when shared among all, the more and the less developed, the effort" by his progress, Antuña added. Since the signing of the framework agreement between the two groups in 2007, results have been achieved in areas such as the presence of Saharan dust in the Caribbean. 

Those results have been presented in three international meetings and also have been submitted to the journal of the Spanish Society of Optics for publication. Antuña has defined this as an example of the historical relations between Spain and Cuba, and recalled that the signature of the extension found no obstacle in the Caribbean country's authorities. 

This project is part of the work conducted by the Atmospheric Optics Group from UVA, which deals with the management and calibration of measuring instruments of the Iberian Network of Photometric Aerosol Measurement (RIMA), dependent on AERONET, the global network. Always subject to protocols and measurement standards previously set by the U.S. NASA, the objective is to characterize the climate at aerosols and validate satellite measurements. EFE  

Source: Journal ABC Spain