International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA)

Updated 2016-05-11

The main mission of the International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) is coordination of atmospheric data collection at existing and newly established intensive Arctic atmospheric observatories. Data of interest to the IASOA consortium include measurements of standard meteorology, greenhouse gases, atmospheric radiation, clouds, pollutants, chemistry, aerosols, and surface energy balances. These measurements support studies of Arctic climate change attribution (why things are changing), not just trends (how things are changing). IASOA is responsive to growing evidence that the earth system may be approaching environmentally critical thresholds within decadal time scales. The information from IASOA will not only enhance scientific understanding but will also support decisions by the global community regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Main gaps: Not all observatories are members of established global networks such as GAW and BSRN. It is recommended that IASOA observatories that are not members of these global networks be evaluated for potential membership and that roadblocks to membership be investigated. Other types of measurement gaps include, but are not limited to: (1) Radar-lidar pairs at each observatory to assess cloud properties; (2) Flux towers at each observatory for methane and CO2 fluxes; (3) Aerosol measurements at each observatory; and (4) Surface and upper air ozone measurements at each observatory. Network type: Predominantly atmospheric measurements.

Time frame

Project time span
2009 -
Data collection
1930 -
Data processing
not specified
Data reporting
not specified

Contact information

Contact person
-Taneil Uttal -Sandy Starkweather

1 303 497 6409
1 303 497 6181

Parameters and Media

Parameter groups measured/observed/modelled
Media sampled/studied/modelled
Additional information or further specification of types of data / information collected, species / tissues / organs sampled, etc.


Atmospheric Radation

Turbulent Fluxes 

Green house Gases



Regions studied
Arctic, Circumpolar
Other areas

Coastal Arctic Land Sites

Stations or areas where observations are made

Alert, Canada

Eureka, Canada

Barrow, Alaska

Oliktok Point, Alaska

Tiksi, Russia

Cherskii, Russia

Cape Baranova, Russia

Pallas/Sodankyla, Finland

Summit, Greenland

Villum Station, Greenland

Ny-Alesund, Norway


Data availability

Data availability and access


Samples/specimens archived in specimen banks?

Methods & Procedures

Procedures and methodology used for, e.g., sampling and sample storage, sample pretreatment, extraction and analysis, including which laboratories are involved, references to methods employed, etc.

All observatories make year-round measurements of basic surfaceand upper air meteorological variables. Other measurements vary according to each observatories' research objectives. For more details, visit the IASOA Observatories-at-a-Glance table (Appendix 3 and also

QA/QC Information (what QA/QC procedures are implemented, laboratories involvment in QA/QC activities, model verification/validation routines, etc.)

Various QA/AC as specified by WMO and other global networks

Additional Information

Is this a bi- AND multi-lateral project (i.e. a project involving cooperation between different countries)?
Other institutes involved in the project

US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorological and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet)

Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI)

Environment Canada (EC)

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Department of Energy (DOE)

Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI)


Is this project reporting to other organizations/programmes?

International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA), Baseline Surface Radiation Network (BSRN), Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW), Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), Sustained Arcitc Observing Network (SAON), 

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