The iLEAPS (integrated Land Ecosystem Atmosphere Processed Study) science conference took place in Nanjing, China this May. The conference had several themes related to the current grand challenges that we are facing, like climate change, air quality and food sustainability. In addition to attending the conference, I took the change to visit three of the universities that have recently started measurements with the Airmodus Particle Size Magnifier in China. Measurements of particles as small as 1 nanometer have not been performed in Asian mega-cities before. Now measurements are conducted both in Shanghai (Fudan University), and in Nanjing (Nanjing University and Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology).
Visiting China is quite exiting for an aerosol physicist. Due to high aerosol loadings many of the aerosol effects we read in books are clearly visible: reduced visibility, strong forward scattering of car headlights, erosion of old monuments. But it also bring interesting new possibilities for research and co-operation. And even though high particle concentrations aren’t desirable, the experimentalist in me is happy that despite the high aerosol sink there seems to be a lot of nano-particles to measure.