ENVINET (European network for arctic-alpine multidiciplanary environmental research) is a research infrastructure network focusing on multidisciplinary environmental research in Europe. The network involves representatives from 18 environmental research infrastructures from the European Alps to the Arctic, representatives of their users and representatives from relevant international organizations and networks. The participating infrastructures cover a broad range of environmental sciences primarily within atmospheric physics and chemistry as well as marine and terrestrial biology.
The ENVINET project directory covers data and observation activities at these stations.
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Arctic study of trophospheric aerosol, clouds and radiation
GAW serves as an early warning system to detect further changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and changes in the ozone layer, and in the long-range transport of pollutants, including acidity and toxicity of rain as well as the atmospheric burden of aerosols.
The project IOANA proposes to better understand the intimate coupling between ozone mixing ratios and particulate nitrate isotopic characteristics. Ozone Depletion Events which occur in Arctic coastal locations shortly after sunrise are a subject of interest per se (scientifically challenging for two decades) but also provide a context in which ozone mixing ratios are highly variable, enabling to characterize the dynamic of correlation and process studies with a resolution of a day. This is a first step towards the use of the isotope tool in reconstructions of the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere. This programme is a preparation of the IPY-OASIS project and propose to coodinate a set of collaborations than will be effective duing the International Polar Year.
The project EPOPEE is embedded in the international project ASTAR to study direct and indirect climate effects of aerosols and clouds in the Arctic. The particular goals of the project EPOPEE are to experimentally characterize the ice phase in Arctic clouds (including the ice phase) in situ, to study the aerosol-cloud as well as cloud-radiation interactions, and to develop adequate methods to validate remote sensing cloud parameters. In 2004 the project EPOPEE is mainly organized around in situ observations of detailed microphysical and optical cloud properties onboard the Polar-2 aircraft during the transition from polluted Arctic haze (observed especially in late winter, early spring months) to clean summer aerosol conditions. The transition from Arctic haze to clean summer conditions is quite sharp (a large amount of aerosols coming from Eurasian industrial areas accumulate over the Arctic and cover the Arctic by a layer of a smog-like haze of the size of the continent of Africa) due to a radical change in atmospheric transport patterns and is, thus, easy to identify. During Arctic summer, the high latitudes are then more or less “protected” from long-range transport of air masses from lower latitudes. The principal scientific objective of the project EPOPEE in 2004 will focus on studying the aerosol-cloud interactions with particular attention given to the ice phase nucleation in Arctic mixed-phase clouds. The interpretation of the instrumental observations will broadly benefit from a very close cooperation with the LaMP modelling group for theoretically coupling small-scale processes (cloud particle nucleation) with meso-scale dynamics. Furthermore, the project will focus on cloud-radiation interaction and the development of adequate methods to validate cloud parameters retrieved from remote sensing techniques. Therein, we will experimentally answer the question of how the different ice crystal shapes govern the scattering phase function of respective crystals. Moreover, the in situ cloud measurements will allow to develop an adequate strategy for the interpretation of remote sensing data from a depolarisation Lidar onboard the same aircraft (Polar-2).
The general objective of this research concerns the quantitative and qualitative study of particulate matter retained in natural (sea-ice and sediment) and artificial (sediment traps) traps in order to determine the main origin (autochtonous and allochtonous) and the relative importance of different fractions of particulate matter and to follow their fate in the environment. To quantify the autochtonous origin of particulate matter, primary production, nutrient uptake, biomass distribution, phytoplankton community structure and fluxes in the first levels of the trophic chain will be investigated. Studies will be conducted in the sea-ice environment and in the water column and compared to the particle fluxes measured both in the water, using sediment traps and in the sediment, by radiometric chronology, in order to estimate the different contribution of these habitats to carbon export to the bottom. The zooplankton will be identified and counted and primary production, nutrient uptake and phytoplankton dynamics will be related to hydrological structure and nutrient availability in the environment. The Kongsfjord results particularly suitable for the main objective of this research as it is influenced by important inputs of both atmospheric (eolic and meteroric) and glacial origin and is characterised by a complex hydrological situation which may promote autochtonous productive processes, thus determining important particulate fluxes.
The current scientific knowledge does not allow estimating accurately the surface radiative forcing caused by tropospheric aerosols and their influence on the evolution of the Earth climate. The radiative forcing depends on the optical properties of the aerosols at solar and thermal infrared wavelengths. These optical properties depend, in turn, on the chemical composition and size of the aerosols. Remote sensing with passive radiation sensors operating in the above-mentioned spectral ranges allows to measure the optical properties of the aerosols and to characterise their temporal variability. These data are needed for regional climate simulations of the Arctic, particularly for delineating the impact of the Arctic haze phenomenon. In this project, a synergetic effort will be made to obtain information about the radiative and microphysical properties of springtime arctic aerosols. Therefore, a polarisation-spectrometer for the solar spectral range, which is currently developed at the Free University of Berlin as a variant of the FUBISS spectrometer, will be operated from the surface in coincidence with the Fourier Transform InfraRed-spectrometer (FTIR) installed at Ny-Aalesund by the AWI. The former instrument measures the intensity and polarisation of the scattered solar radiation from the visible to the near-infrared. The latter measures the radiation emitted by the Atmosphere itself in the thermal infrared window region. Together, they thus provide a wealth of information about the aerosol optical properties at the interesting wavelengths (spectral optical depth, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry factor of the phase function), which will allow inferring the aerosol microphysical properties. Complementary measurements of the aerosol microphysical properties will be provided by an aerosol volatility analyser, which is maintained by the University of Leeds and will also be brought to Ny-Aalesund. This instrument comprises a fast response scanning volatility system and an optical particle counter. From the thermal response of the aerosol number and the change in the size distribution conclusions can be inferred about the chemical composition and the state of mixing of aerosols as a function of size.
The FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy) has been established as a powerful tool for measurements of atmospheric trace gases. Using the sun or moon as light source, between 20-30 trace gases of the tropo- and stratosphere can be detected by their absorption features. The analysis of the spectra allows to retrieve the total zenith columns of the trace gases. For a few trace gases the pressure broadening of the lines allows to get additionally some information on the vertical concentration profiles. Some important trace gases cannot be detected in the IR but in the UV/VIS. This makes it useful to record the whole spectral region from the IR from about 700/cm (14 µm) to the UV at 33000/cm (300 nm).
In recent years, much attention has been directed towards understandig the effects of aerosols on a variety of processes in the earth atmosphere. Aerosols play an integral role in limiting visibility, they serve as nuclei for the formation of fog and cloud droplets, they affect the earth radiative budget, and thus climate, both directly and indirectly, and they inhibit the propagation of electromagnetic radiation. The Arctic aerosols, especially Arctic Haze and tropospheric ice crystals possible have important climatic and ecological and global change implications. Since 1991 Sun photometer observations of the polar atmopheric aerosol have been performed at the Koldewey Station in Ny-Aalesund, Spitzbergen. In order to complete the coverage and quality of measurements during the polar night a high sensitive Star photometer is installed since January 1996. Both measurements, the daylight Sun photometer measurements and night Star photometer measurements will be continued.
A tropospheric lidar system with a Nd:YAG-Laser was installed at the Koldewey-Station in 1998. It operates at a laser wavelengths of 355, 532, and 1064 nm with detection at 532 nm polarised and depolarised, and at Raman wavelengths like 607nm (nitrogen). It records profiles of aerosol content, aerosol depolarisation and aerosol extinction. During polar night the profils reach from the ground up to the tropopause level, while during polar day background light reduces the altitude range. The main goal of the investigations is to determine the climate impact of arctic aerosol. Analysis of the climate impact will be performed by a high resolution regional model run at the Alfred Wegener Institute (HIRHAM). The lidar system is capable to obtain water vapour profiles in the troposphere. Water vapour profiles are crucial for the understanding of the formation of aerosols. The water vapour profiles are also used for the validation of profiles measured by the CHAMP satellite from 2001 onwards.