The Nordic Society for Aerosol Research (NOSA)

The Nordic Society for Aerosol Research (NOSA) was founded in 1978. Its purpose is to promote aerosol research, interdisciplinary collaboration between members, to facilitate information to members and the general public by the arrangement of symposia, to support international collaboration and exchange of ideas, and to promote re-growth and education within aerosol sciences.


Aerosol science plays a key role in several areas.


1. Industry:

Nano-technology is an area where aerosols are of profound importance, usually because aerosolisaition of various materials are important in the manufacturing of nano-components. Aerosol science is also important in many parts of the industry where clean room conditions are critical, e.g. manufacturing of electronics, optics and medications.

2. Health:

Aerosols often contain toxic compounds that may transfer into the body, even into the blood, through the respiration system. In high enough concentrations, the aerosols can cause adversehas health effects even if its material is not toxic itself.

3. Medicine:

Aerosols are used to distribute medicines into the nose or the lungs with the help of inhalators.

4. Environment:

Due to theirits health effects aerosols are an environmental problem. Aerosols also play key roles in several more complex ways such as acidification and destruction of stratospheric ozone.

5. Climate:

The aerosol itself Aerosols can either scatter incoming solar light back into the space, or absorb it (soot), thus cooling or warning the climate which cause a cooling and warming effect respectively. In addition, aerosols change the reflectivity (albedo) and life time of clouds, which also has a net cooling effect. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) rank aerosols and clouds as the most uncertain man-made climate forcing. The reliability of climate forecasts hence largely depend on how these processes are represented in the climate models.


A large number of Nordic research networks have stemmed out from the NOSA community during the last 10 years. Large parts of the research communities represented by NOSA has been collaborating within Nordic networks: In 2001-2005 within the NorFA Network on Atmospheric Aerosol Dynamics (NAD) in 2001-2005, in 2003-2007 within NorFA graduate school on Carbon – Biosphere – Aerosol – Cloud – Climate Interactions (CBACCI) in 2003-2007, in 2003-2007 within the Nordic Centre of Excellence, Research Unit on Biosphere – Coal – Aerosol – Cloud – Climate Interactions in 2003-2007, and in 2011-2014 within the Nordic Centre of Excellence, Cryosphere-Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing Arctic Climate (CRAICC) in 2011-2014, the two last founded by the Nordic council of ministers. While the these recourses have been crucial in improving the quality of research and education within the Nordic community, however have been focused on either education or research, never both, they have been limited to only one of the five important fields listed above, and they have been limited in time and does not offer the continuity that NOSA does. NOSA thus serves as a vital forum for the Nordic aerosol scientists to meet, interact and plan research activities together – which has already lead to several successful projects and research collaborations.

NOSA has arranged a Nordic Aerosol Symposium annually since 1978. These symposia are a vital part of NOSA activities, and fulfil several of NOSAs objectiveses, see above. They bring together members from all the research fields of aerosol science and typically members from most departments/institutes/research groups with aerosol-relevant research – not only from the Nordic countries but throughout the world. In January 2014 we have the honor to will arrange this Symposium at Stockholm University. Typically the Nordic Aerosol Symposium focuses on one or two main subjects. In 2014, our plan is to attract scientist from different fields of aerosol research, the conference has three thematic focal points: us on 1) Aerosol processes (common for points 1-5 above) 2) Aerosols and Climate (point 5 5above), and 3) Aerosols and Health (points 1-3 above), and on Aerosol processes (in common for 1-5). The symposium has the scientific goal to bring together Nordic and international researchers in all the fields listed above. However, on the 2014 meeting we expect there to be a special interest in aerosols and climate because the publication of the next IPCC report in September 2013, and in the more and more frequently discussions on the health hazards of nano-particles in the environment. The symposium also serves a core function for networking within the subject in and between the Nordic countries, and as a small scale conference for young Ph.D. students to get some first experience of international conferences and oral and poster presentations in a relaxed environment. To encourage the students to improve their presentation skills, a best student presentation award is given in the final day of the meeting, along with the NOSA aerosologist award announced by the NOSA president in the conference dinner.




Aerosol science

An aerosol consists of particles or droplets suspended in a gas. The particle sizes of aerosol particles can ranges from about one nanometer to a hundred micrometers. Aerosols have both natural sources (for example desert dust, sea spray or aerosols formed from organic vapours emitted by vegetation), and may be man-made, either on purpose, or as an unwanted consequence of processes or materials we use (e.g. combustion of fossil fuels).

Main activities

  • Arrange Aerosol Meetings annually in one of the Nordic countries
  • Disseminate information related to aerosol research to the members of NOSA

NOSA Mission

To promote interdisciplinary and international collaboration, re-growth and education within aerosol research, and information to members and the public.