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Press release archive: 2013

The Finnish Meteorological Institute measures aerosols and greenhouse gases all year round in Antarctica

11.3.2013 8:45

On 4 February, the Finnish Meteorological Institute started year-round aerosol and greenhouse gas measurements in Antarctica, at the Marambio research station maintained by Argentina. The measurements are used to study the progression of climate change, its causes and consequences.

Photo: Eija Asmi

Photo: Eija Asmi

Measurements of aerosols and greenhouse gases in Antarctica provide a comprehensive and highly interesting addition to research conducted in the cold polar regions. They contribute significantly to the monitoring of the extent and impacts of climate change. No equally comprehensive year-round measurements have been conducted on the Antarctic Peninsula before. Thus, they may also reveal new, unpredictable phenomena and processes.

Many new measuring instruments for Antarctica

At the end of February, three researchers of the Finnish Meteorological Institute returned from Antarctica, where they had spent a month installing new measuring instruments and training the permanent crew to maintain the equipment. During the trip, a brand new measuring container was installed a short distance away from the research station buildings. The container houses instruments that measure the optical properties, numbers and chemical composition of aerosol particles, as well as the concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane. A new weather station and a measurement point for the UV albedo of snow were also set up. “Installation of the equipment succeeded as planned. All instruments work in real time and data are transferred to Finland every week,” says Research Scientist Eija Asmi of the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

The measurements are conducted in cooperation with Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (SMN) of Argentina. SMN scientists and technicians are responsible for the year-round maintenance of the instruments at the Marambio station. From Finland, the University of Helsinki also contributes to the project.

Responsibility for logistics at the station is vested in the Argentinian Air Force, which also helped to transport and install the measuring instruments. The measurements are a substantial addition to the long-standing research collaboration between the institutes, which began with ozone soundings in Marambio as early as 1988.

Additional information:

Research Scientist Eija Asmi, tel. 029 539 5352, eija.asmi@fmi.fi
Research Scientist Edith Rodriguez, tel. 029 539 2167, edith.rodriguez@fmi.fi
Research Scientist Kimmo Neitola, tel. 029 539 2051, kimmo.neitola@fmi.fi

The Marambio research station is located on an island at the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (64o14.7’ S; 56o37.8’ W).