As early as the 1980s, the influence of human activity had become obvious. In particular, two observations: The first, that of the "ozone hole" at the South Pole, associated with the award of the Nobel Prize to researchers Rowland and Molina demonstrating that this hole was due to sending freons (refrigerant gases) The second was the unquestionable increase of carbon dioxide CO2 in the atmosphere.
The two international commissions IOC (International Ozone Commission) and the IRC (International Radiation Commission) then decided to create each one a working group essentially composed of specialists in spectroscopy, this technique being at the base of the monitoring of the evolution of O3 and CO2 The managers were respectively Alain Barbe (GSMA, Reims) and Rodolphe Zander (University of Liège)
Very quickly, the idea of merging these two working groups appeared obvious, leading to the creation of palindrome, ASA (Atmospheric Spectroscopy Applications), as well as to organize conferences on this topic, considering the number of researchers involved
Among the countries contacted, England was the first to organize it at the RAL (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Oxford, 1990), 52 people took part, and, despite the success of this conference, the great difficulty of obtaining visas for the large number of Russian researchers who declared themselves to be interested was noted. Thus, the proposal of the organization in Moscow in 1993 by the IAO (Institute of Atmospheric Optics) was appreciated.
Thereafter, every three years were organized in Reims respectively the ASA conferences (fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth respectively in 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, and 2008.
At the same time, in parallel, another type of conference existed: HITRAN, organized by Larry Rothman, of the Harvard Smithonian Observatory, in Boston, every two years: ... .2002, 2004, 2006.This conference brought together about 60 people
Here again the interest of merging the two conferences was obvious: many researchers participated in both conferences, given certain similarities of the topics (high resolution spectroscopy in laboratory, atmospheric applications, planetary atmospheres, data banks ...), even if there was a stronger participation of American researchers at HITRAN and European at ASA; also taking into account that the conferences could potentially overlap (2002), and finally the greater ease of data exchange, via the internet, which may encourage a moderation in the number of conferences on similar topics
Thus, after the merger, the ASA-HITRAN conferences were created, since 2008, and held every two years, successively in Boston: in 2010, 2014 ,2018, and 2012, 2016 and 2020 in Reims.
The participations for the last two conferences were 95.
Written by Alain Barbe on october 2019.