Barrow 2009 - NCAR Participation

Barrow 2009 - Scientific Overview

In Winter/Spring 2009 (end of Feb. to end of April), scientists from NCAR (Atmospheric Chemistry Division of ESSL, and the Technology Development Facility of EOL) will participate in a major field campaign at Barrow, Alaska. This campaign will be the most detailed study to date of the exchange processes occurring between the atmosphere and the cryosphere, and their impact on tropospheric chemistry and composition. The aim is to significantly advance our understanding of the overall oxidative capacity of the Arctic troposphere, of surface ozone and mercury depletion events, and of the nature and importance of aerosol production in this region.

There will also be a significant global modeling component to the OASIS study, which will examine the impact of OASIS exchange processes on air quality and climate in the Arctic region.

Participants in the Barrow 2009 campaign include scientists from Canada, England, France and Germany, as well as from NCAR, Georgia Institute of Technology, Purdue University, Villanova University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and University of California – Davis. There will be approximately 25 separate instruments in operation at the field site, nine of which will be operated by NCAR scientists. The NCAR deployment will focus on measuring concentrations and fluxes of key chemical species active in the Arctic boundary layer photochemistry, including HOx, NOx and NOy, PANs, O3, halocarbons, organics and aerosols, as well as driving environmental factors such as actinic flux. The inclusion of HOx and aerosol measurements, in particular, represents a significant addition to previous campaigns of this type.

Education and Outreach

Education and Outreach activities associated with OASIS-Barrow 2009 are being co-ordinated with other participants in the field study (e.g., UC-Davis, Purdue University, Georgia Tech, and Environment Canada). Highlights include the following:

  • The participation of a Denver-area high school teacher in the field program. The teacher will come to Barrow for a week, and will be involved in data collection and analysis, will communicate with classrooms via webcam, and will develop chemistry / physics / environmental science curricula based on Barrow activities.
  • The participation of a SOARS protégé (Talea Mayo, who will work with Lee Mauldin and colleagues on measurements of OH and OH reactivity).
  • The participation of NCAR scientists as lecturers in a graduate-level course, to be offered at UC-Davis and possibly other institutions.
  • Participation in local outreach programs, including “Schoolyard Saturdays”.