The new atmospheric observatory at Mt. Chacaltaya (CHC) in Bolivia is at an altitude of 5240 meters and is the highest such station in the world.
Photo: Kay Weinhold/IfT
The US NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has joined this group of institutions by helping the LIDAR group at the LFA in implementing a fully functional lidar system in Cota-Cota, at only 22 km in straight line, from Chacaltaya. For this region, information on the atmospheric composition is largely unknown due to the lack of observations. Measurements at the station started in December 2011 and include monitoring of gases (CO2, CO and O3), characterization of aerosol particle properties (absorption and scattering coefficients, number size distribution, chemical composition, and small ions) as well as radiation and meteorology. Aerosol lidar measurements are made from La Paz in support of the overall research effort. The CHC station is part of the WMO-GAW network.
South America is facing dramatic environmental changes linked to deforestation over the Amazon Basin driven primarily by agricultural expansion and logging. Biomass burning activities resulting nowadays dominantly from anthropogenic land-use change are potent sources of CO2 and several Short Lived Climate Forcers (SLCFs). Tropical deep convection introduces both biogenic and pyrogenic aerosols into the free troposphere, where, thanks to a lifetime on the order of weeks, aerosol particles can be transported over long-distances with nearly global impact. The presence of high aerosol loads over the Bolivian Altiplano will likely influence local/regional radiative balance, but also may exert a strong impact on the strength of the convective circulation and hence the precipitation patterns in the arid Altiplano region.
The lack of availability of climate and atmospheric data in the region remains, however, a strong constraint on both Climate and Chemistry-Transport modeling efforts.Mt. Chacaltaya is in the Cordillera Real, a mountain chain in the Andean highlands of Bolivia. The peak reaches 5421 meters above sea level. The mountain has long been considered the highest ski area in the world. After the disappearance of the glacier, skiing, however, was terminated. In good weather the view extends to the Titicaca Lake and 30 kilometers to La Paz.
The observatory, which is accessible by car, is situated at 5240 meters, just below the summit.. The mountain has already gone down in the history of science: Since the 1940s, there was an observatory for cosmic radiation at the site. The British physicist Cecil Frank Powell, collaborating with the young Brazilian physicist César Lattes, worked on the development of a photographic method for studying of atomic processes, which led to the discovery of the pion.
In recent years, the station was expanded to atmospheric research that began in 2010 and is now part of the "Global Atmosphere Watch Programme" (GAW) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It observes the evolution of the atmosphere to investigate the effects of global change. Aerosol particles, often colloquially referred to as particulate matter, play a large role in the Earth's climate. They absorb and scatter solar radiation. In addition, aerosol particles act as cloud condensation nuclei. The aim of the monitoring network is to monitor the chemical composition of the atmosphere, aerosol particles and long-term physical parameters at a high level of quality.
Tilo Arnhold | idw
Further reports about: > Aerosol-Partikel > Atmospheric > Atmospheric Sciences > Bolivia > CO2 > Chacaltaya > Climat > Climate change > Goddard Space Flight Center > Meteorologie > Mount Everest > Tropospheric > WMO > aerosol particles > atmosphere > atmospheric composition > chemical composition > environmental change
In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy