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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Lidar tropospheric study at Alomar

Final Activity Report Summary - ALOTROPOLID (LIDAR tropospheric study at Alomar)

The main research objective for the Marie Curie fellow was the characterisation of aerosols at the latitude of 69N, in the immediate vicinity of the ocean and the characterisation of cirrus cloud particles at the same location. Climate change, induced by radiative forcing for both types of particles is rather poorly understood and gives rise to uncertainties in models, describing the development of the earth's climate for the next decades. Thus a deeper understanding is needed.

Prior to the Marie Curie fellow's abidance at Arctic Lidar Observatory for Middle Atmosphere Research (Alomar), the knowledge about aerosols in the troposphere at this site was very limited; especially height distribution, geographic origin, total content and type of the dominating aerosols at 69N have not been studied in detail. During the fellow's abidance, the Alomar troposphere lidar - the main system which was used - has contributed with important data to the observation of different kinds of aerosols. In several cases Max Frioud was able to identify for the first time aerosols and their origin above Andoya.

The most spectacular event, the fellow heavily was involved in, is the first observation of desert dust originating from the Sahara above the facility. This event induced a radio interview and articles in daily newspapers and online newspapers and consequently was published in a refereed journal. A similar example is the observation of anthropogenic aerosols, originating from the industrial centres in the northern United States, which passed by in about 5 km height. For the general public such events give a clear indication that, even in a remote area with limited local sources of pollution as the Andoya Island, global transport of natural and human made substances in the atmosphere contribute to the arctic eco-system.

As shown in the published work, the conjunction of the these new observations and the observations done by the already existing collocated instrumentation (sun-photometer, Brewer, VHF radar) considerably improve the qualitative description of the local aerosol dynamics.