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The Air Chemistry Observatory at Neumayer Stations (GvN and NM-II) Antarctica

Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research & German Society of Polar Research
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  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Earth Science


DocHdl1OnPTRtmpTarget biogeochemical cycles, polar ice cores provide a unique archive of climate proxies from which information about past changes of temperature and atmospheric aerosol load can be derived even in sub-annual resolution, provided that the controlling mechanisms of the air to firn transfer of relevant species are thoroughly investigated in the present atmosphere. In this context, the realization of deep drilling activities on the central Antarctic ice sheet (EPICA-project; < glaciology/projects/epical>), the need for recent atmospheric observations to interpret ice core records is strongly empha- sized. The purpose of this contribution is to give a brief overview on the technical layout of the observatory and highlight some outstanding scientific results. Concerning the latter, we will focus on conclusions drawn from the established long-term observational programme. For a more comprehensive view, especially concerning particular case studies, which we will not address here, see original publications listed below and in <>. TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE AIR CHEMISTRY OBSERVATORY The first air chemistry observatory at Georg von Neumayer Station (GvN) was initiated and constructed by the Institut für Umweltphysik, University of Heidelberg (UHEI-IUP) in 1982. Following almost thirteen years of operation, the technical equipment and the data acquisition facilities had to be renewed shortly after the old GvN was replaced in March 1992 by the new Neumayer Station II (NM II). The present observatory was designed in collaboration between AWI and UHEI-IUP as a container building placed on a platform some metres above the snow surface (Figs. 1, 2) and was finally set up in January 1995. All experiments installed in the air chemistry observa- tory are under daily control and daily performance protocols are available. A ventilated stainless steel inlet stack (total height about 8 m above the

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