EARLINET: the European Aerosol Lidar Network
EARLINET, the European Aerosol Research Lidar Network, is the first aerosol lidar network with the main goal to provide a comprehensive, quantitative, and statistically significant database for the aerosol distribution on a continental scale. Lidar measurements are systematically performed at each station and additional observations are performed to monitor special events. The data quality of the database is assured by intercomparisons at both instrument and algorithm levels. At present, the database is already useful to fill partially the gap in the aerosol vertical distribution knowledge, necessary for a better understanding of aerosol effects on climate and atmospheric processes. It will be useful to improve the quality of several satellite retrieval systems affected by the presence of aerosols, and in validation measurement campaign for future satellite missions like CALIPSO.