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Interactions between aerosols and clouds, and their effects on radiation, precipitation and regional circulations are one of the largest uncertainties in understanding climate. With reducing uncertainties in predictions of weather, climate and climate impacts in mind, the European Commission funded project “Dynamics-aerosol-chemistry-cloud interactions in West Africa” (DACCIWA) aims to improve our capabilities to monitor and model cloud-aerosol interactions in southern West Africa. This region is ideal for studying cloud-aerosol interactions because of its rich mix of natural and anthropogenic aerosols and diverse clouds, and because of its strong dependence of the regional and global climate to the sensitive West African monsoon.
One of the crucial research activities in DACCIWA is to conduct a major field campaign in southern West Africa from June to July 2015. The field campaign involves a wide range of ground-based instrumentation and three European research aircraft equipped with chemistry, aerosol, cloud and radiation sensors. We propose to deploy two ARM sunphotometers at the planned supersites in Benin and Ghana, providing crucial aerosol/cloud microphysical and integral optical properties that are essential for the linkage between ground-based, airborne and spaceborne observations, and for model evaluations.