Collaborative Research: Antarctic Automatic Weather Station Program 2019-2022
The Antarctic Automatic Weather Station network is the most extensive surficial meteorological network in the Antarctic, approaching its 30th year at several of its data stations. Its prime focus is also as a long term observational record, to measure the near surface weather and climatology of the Antarctic atmosphere. Antarctic Automatic Weather Stations measure air-temperature, pressure, wind speed and direction at a nominal surface height of ~ 2-3m. Other parameters such as relative humidity and snow accumulation may also be taken. The surface observations from the Antarctic Automatic Weather Station network are also used operationally, for forecast purposes, and in the planning of field work. Surface observations made from the network have also been used to check the validity of satellite and remote sensing observations. The proposed effort informs our understanding of the Antarctic environment and its weather and climate trends over the past few decades. The research has implications for potential future operations and logistics for the US Antarctic Program during the winter season. As a part of this endeavor, all project participants will engage in a coordinated outreach effort to bring the famous Antarctic "cold" to public seminars, K-12, undergraduate, and graduate classrooms, and senior citizen centers.
This project proposes to use the surface conditions observed by the Antarctic Automatic Weather Station (AWS) network to determine how large-scale modes of climate variability impact Antarctic weather and climate, how the surface observations from the AWS network are linked to surface layer and boundary layer processes. Consideration will also be given to low temperature physical environments such as may be encountered during Antarctic winter, and the best ways to characterize these, and other ?cold pool? phenomena. Observational data from the AWS are collected via Iridium network, or DCS Argos aboard either NOAA or MetOp polar orbiting satellites and thus made available in near real time to operational and synoptic weather forecasters over the GTS (WMO Global Telecommunication System). Being able to support improvements in numerical weather prediction and climate modeling will have lasting impacts on Antarctic science and logistical support.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
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