Date: 13 April 2021, 16:00 – 18:30 GMT
Course summary: Long-term continuous ground-based atmospheric observations are strongly constrained by land distribution and are still very limited over the sea, particularly in polar regions where fixed installations (buoys) are limited by sea ice. Ship-based atmospheric measurements can potentially close an important knowledge gap, particularly with the aim of validating satellite observations and atmospheric models. This course explored the challenges of taking atmospheric measurements on research ships. A team of experts introduced and moderated a discussion of relevant topics, the opportunities arising from new technologies and concrete examples of best practices. The overall aim was to communicate the possibility of organizing research ships expeditions as multi-domain observing platforms, which is necessary if we want to elucidate the most important mechanisms and processes that drive the climatic system in the Arctic.
Photo: Oliver Müller / AWI
Vito Vitale is Research Director at the CNR Institute of Polar Sciences (ISP) in Bologna. He is an expert of radiative transfer processes into the atmosphere. His research focus is on the radiation budget and the role that atmospheric composition and surface characteristics play in modulating Shortwave (SW) and Longwave (LW) radiation components, determining their seasonal and inter-annual variability. He has been involved in polar research and management since 1986, both in Antarctica and in the Arctic. He leads the Climate Change Tower Integrated Project (CCT-IP, www.isac.cnr.it/~radiclim/CCTower) a large multidisciplinary project at CNR Arctic Station Dirigibile Italia, aiming to investigate arctic ABL energy budget, and the role played by different processes involving air, aerosols, clouds, snow, ice and land (permafrost and vegetation) using well integrated multidisciplinary platforms. During his long activity in polar regions, he has promoted the improvement of observation technology for harsh environments, developing also custom instrumentation. With respect to this topic, at the moment his interest is devoted to increasing the capability to perform continuous atmospheric observations over the ocean, in particular those related to radiation and aerosols
Dr. Lanconelli received a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics in 2007 at the University of Ferrara, exploring the effects of Earth surface reflectance properties on aerosol direct radiative forcing by combining modeling and measurements approaches. He worked at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (ISAC) of the Italian National Research Council from 2002 to 2015, being mainly involved in radiative transfer modeling and solar radiation measurement activities with the principal aim of assessing the effects of aerosols and clouds on Earth’s energy balance. He was involved in several polar field campaigns and managed the Dome-C Antarctic BSRN station from 2006 to 2015, directing the field campaign, instrument setup and maintenance.
At the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission since 2015, he is involved in the study of Quality Assurance and fitness for the purpose of bio-geophysical products, FAPAR, LAI and albedo using Monte-Carlo 3D-RT models. He contributed to the design of the last Radiative transfer Model Intercomparison exercise (https://rami-benchmark.jrc.ec.europa.eu). He is the project manager of the Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN) since autumn 2018, a capacity in which he contributes to the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Changes (NDACC) activities and as a member of the recently established GCOS Surface Reference Network Task Team (TT-GSRN).
Laura Riihimaki is a physicist by training. She has found her scientific home making and interpreting quality observations to better predict and understand climate change and develop solutions to its impacts. Her current research focuses on utilizing surface radiation measurements to investigate the impacts of clouds and aerosols on the surface energy budget, characterizing the variability of surface radiation for solar energy, and investigating ways to improve surface radiation measurements and their interpretation in a variety of conditions.
A self-proclaimed radiometer geek, Laura Riihimaki joined the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), to work with NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory surface radiation networks in 2019. Last year, she also became the Deputy Project Manager for the BSRN network. In addition, she has a long history of working with radiation measurements from other networks. In graduate school, she analyzed long-term solar irradiance measurements from the University of Oregon Solar Monitoring Network for atmospheric changes in aerosols and clouds, and first came to value the importance of calibration methodologies and good data quality. She also has extensive experience working with the US Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) facility, serving as an instrument mentor for radiometers on ships and aircraft, and previous work managing a team of scientists and software engineers that developed and maintained operational retrievals of radiation, cloud, and boundary layer remote sensing products.
Dr. Robert A. Weller is a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He earned an AB in Engineering and Applied Physics from Harvard University and then a PhD in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He is past Chair of the Physical Oceanography Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His research focuses on atmospheric forcing, upper ocean dynamics, the prediction of upper ocean variability, and the ocean’s role in climate. Dr. Weller’s work has included development of tools and technologies that enable scientists to investigate upper ocean processes on scales from meters to tens of kilometers. With Russ Davis he has a patent for the Vector Measuring Current Meter (VMCM). Weller also led work on the ASIMET (Air-Sea Interaction METeorological system). He has been working on sustained time series observations. In recognition of Dr. Weller's contributions to ocean science, he was named Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations Oceanographic Research Chair by the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Weller has been on over 60 research cruises, most as Chief Scientist, in areas including the Gulf Stream, the Arabian Sea, the Kuroshio, the western tropical Pacific, the North Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the South Pacific. Many of these cruises involved mooring deployments cruises.
Aki Virkkula is a senior scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. In 1992-1996 he was employed by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) and in 1996-1999 by the Environment Institute of Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy. He got his PhD at University of Helsinki (UH) in 1999. In 2001-2002 he was an NRC postdoc at NOAA-PMEL in Seattle. He has been a senior scientist at FMI and a docent (adjunct professor) at UH since 2004. In 2014-2015 he was a visiting professor at Nanjing University, China. His main research interests have been Antarctic research (4 campaigns, later as a PI), aerosol optics, and effects of BC on snow. He has some experience on aerosol measurement on ships: in November - December 1999 and 2004: measurement campaigns on the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to Antarctica onboard the Russian research vessel Akademik Fedorov, in July 2002: measurement campaign (New England Air Quality Study (NEAQS)) on the US East Coast onboard the NOAA research vessel Ron Brown and in August 2012 installations on the Chinese research vessel Xue Long for the CHINARE 2012 campaign through the Arctic Ocean.
Chris Fairall is a physicist at NOAA’s Physical Science Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he heads the Boundary Layer Observations and Processes team. He works in unraveling the mysteries of how the ocean and atmosphere battle each other as part of the Earth’s climate system from El Nino to hurricanes. He has spent decades developing and deploying air-sea interaction observing systems for NOAA ships and aircraft and has participated in nearly 50 research field programs and cruises from the Tropics to the Arctic icecap. His work is devoted to making direct measurements for verifying and improving the representation of air-sea interaction processes (surface evaporation, absorption of heat, generation of waves, uptake of carbon dioxide) in climate models used for climate change projections. Do the models get the right clouds (stratus, cumulus, thunderstorms) over the right ocean? Do they transfer the right amount of carbon dioxide from the air to the water? Do they put the right amount of heat into the tropical oceans and take it out in the polar oceans? How does the ocean power hurricanes and what is required to allow realistic hurricanes to ‘live’ in climate models? Do they correctly represent the heat balance of the Arctic Ocean ice cap? Dr. Fairall’s observing technology work has also led to improvements in the global ocean observing system. He is currently working on improving hurricane intensity forecasts.
Key words: air-sea interaction, hurricanes, ocean CO2, clouds, sea ice
- Short introduction: motivations and targets; practical arrangements (Vito Vitale)
- Research ship: a multi-disciplinary platform to close a gap (Vito Vitale)
An introduction to the scientific needs for atmospheric measurements over the sea (without going into any details of any topic specifically), also in connection with satellite observations; relevance for polar regions; general consideration on challenges for these measurements, needs for new technologies and also adaptation of methodologies (with a couple of examples).
- Challenges in the observation of radiation fluxes over land and ocean (15 + 5 min Christian Lanconelli EC-JRC + Laura Riihimaki NOAA)
Radiation budget is a fundamental input for many marine processes. The presentation will focus on the needs to harmonise the approach of land and maritime communities in the determination of the shortwave and longwave radiative balance at the Earth surface, from instrument calibration, data acquisition and analysis practices. It will then focus on the different observing methods in use on land and at sea, and discuss the challenges faced in making the observations, in particular over titling platforms, and the possible way forwards in a land and maritime communities’ active cooperation scenario.
- ASIMET – a modular system for surface meteorological observations (Robert Weller)
- To answer the need for high quality meteorological observations from buoys, research ships, and volunteer observing ships, a modular instrument system was developed. Each module can carry its own battery and can log data internally, as well as can be linked by RS-485 to central power and a data logger. Each module stores its own serial number and calibration information and stores and provides averaged values in engineering units as well as raw data. These ASIMET systems have been run for up to close to two years on buoys, are in service on some research vessels, and can be configured for volunteer observing ships. Best practices developed for deployments provide a foundation for ensuring data quality.
- Observe the marine boundary layer (Chris Fairall)
Climate-quality near-surface meteorological variables for computation of air sea fluxes and boundary layer information such as profiles of temperature, humidity, wind and cloud information, are two topics of interest in this talk. Air-sea fluxes of sensible heat, latent heat, and momentum may be measured directly or estimated via bulk formulae. Boundary-layer profiling systems are expensive and some may not be sufficiently automated for practical use even on research vessels.
- Aerosols observations at surface and in the atmospheric column (Aki Virkkula)
In-situ measurements onboard ships can be used for studying processes such as new particle formation and growth in the MBL and transport of aerosols from various source regions. Column measurements such as AOD measured with sun photometers or layer structures with LIDARs provide information to be combined with data from satellites. All of these should be combined with transport modeling. Problems exist: contamination from the ship.