Environmental Science Division (EVS)a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

EVS researchers participate in atmospheric measurement campaign to improve understanding of properties of Antarctic clouds

January 25, 2019

In 2015, EVS researchers participated in a collaborative atmospheric measurement campaign to understand the impact of regional and large-scale events on Antarctic warming. The team was comprised of a number of academic institutions and national laboratories, including Argonne, Los Alamos and Brookhaven. The research focused on the micro- and macro-physical properties of Antarctic clouds, like the average size of droplets or the total amount of liquid or ice contained in a cloud. The goal was to determine the amount of radiation the clouds will transmit based on such parameters.

Based at McMurdo Station and on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), the campaign was part of the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) West Antarctic Radiation Experiment (AWARE), led by Principal Investigator Dan Lubin from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The one-year study deployed the largest assemblage of instrumentation for ground-based Antarctic atmospheric measurements since 1957.

“The whole idea was to try to figure out how atmospheric dynamics, like air masses that come from the sea, for example, can affect cloud properties and how changes in cloud properties affect the energy balance of the region,” said EVS atmospheric research engineer Maria Cadeddu. “And understanding how clouds affect a system can help with future climate projections.”

Read the full article by John Spizzirri.

Beginning in late November 2015, a set of Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) equipment was deployed to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, including basic radiometric, surface energy balance and upper air equipment directly to make the first well-calibrated climatological suite of measurements seen in this extremely remote, but globally critical, region in more than 40 years.
Beginning in late November 2015, a set of Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) equipment was deployed to the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, including basic radiometric, surface energy balance and upper air equipment directly to make the first well-calibrated climatological suite of measurements seen in this extremely remote, but globally critical, region in more than 40 years. [Source: DOE ARM Research Facility]
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portrait of Maria Cadeddu
portrait of Virendra Ghate