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last modified 2010-09-28 22:19

POLARCAT brought together intensive aircraft experiments, research cruises, monitoring activities at surface stations, ground-based remote sensing, controlled meteorological balloon releases, satellite measurements, and a range of different models. In order to achieve the overall goals, POLARCAT-Norway closely coordinated these different activities. Overall, POLARCAT was a bottom-up activity. In advance of the International Polar Year (IPY), researchers from all over the world gathered at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) outside of Oslo, Norway. At this time, the most pressing issues in Arctic research were presented and a massive international research campaign was planned to be conducted during IPY.

POLARCAT Campaigns
Below is a listing of the major research campaigns that were conducted during POLARCAT. Information about other associated activities and research programmes, may be found by browsing the folders to the left. Note, that much of content of these pages contains 'quicklooks', and other material intended for communication between campaigns.
NASA – ARCTAS (Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites)

The Arctic is undergoing significant environmental changes related to global climate change. NASA is extensively studying the role of air pollution in this climate-sensitive region as part of the ARCTAS field campaign, the largest airborne experiment ever to do so.

Organization: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Country: USA
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska/ Cold Lake, Alberta
Platform: DC8 & P3 aircraft
Dates: April 1-21, 2008/ June 26 – August 14, 2008
Contact: J Crawford, NASA & D Jacob, Harvard


NOAA – ICEALOT (International Chemistry Experiment in the Arctic Lower Troposphere)

ICEALOT was a springtime research cruise in an ice-free region of the Arctic. Topics included springtime sources and transport of pollutants to the Arctic, evolution of aerosols and gases into and within the Arctic, and climate impacts of haze and ozone.

Organization: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Country: USA
Location: North Atlantic
Platform: R/V Knorr
Dates: March 11 – 23. April, 2008
Contact: P. Quinn, NOAA


NOAA – ARCPAC (Aerosol, Radiation, and Cloud Processes affecting Arctic Climate)

ARCPAC was established as an airborne field experiment in Alaska to address the four major areas of non-greenhouse-gas atmospheric climate processes in the Arctic. A NOAA WP-3D aircraft was used for the experiment, and was based at Fairbanks, Alaska.

Organization: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Country: USA
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Platform: P3 aircraft
Dates: April 1-25, 2008
Contact: C. Brock, NOAA



The YAK-AEROSIB objective is to establish systematic observations of atmospheric concentrations in CO2, CO and O3 over the interior of Eurasia. The measurements will be collected over several years over a transcontinental route between Western and Eastern Siberia.

Organization: CNRS – French National Center for Scientific Research, The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (CEA), Institute of Atmospheric Optics, SB-RAS, Tomsk, Russia, and NILU
Country: France, Russia, Norway
Location: Siberia
Platform: Antonov-30 aircraft
Dates: July 1-20, 2008
Contact: D Paris, CNRS & B. Belan, CEA



During the POLARCAT-France summer campaign, aircraft based measurements were performed out of Greenland, with the objective to investigate pollutant transport pathways to the Arctic, with respect to European outflow, Canadian and Siberian boreal forest fires. During the winter campaign, the aircraft was based at Kiruna, Sweden.

Organization: CNRS – French National Center for Scientific Research
Country: France
Location: Kiruna, Sweden/ Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Platform: ATR - 42 aircraft
Dates: March 3. – April 7. 2008/ July 4 – 22. 2008
Contact: K Law, CNRS


GRACE – Greenland Aerosol and Chemistry Experiment

The GRACE field deployment of the DLR Falcon research aircraft is a German contribution to the POLARCAT activity. The campaign was targeted at aircraft and satellite-remote sensing observations of biomass burning emission transport into the Arctic.

Organization: Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre (DLR)
Country: Germany
Location: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Platform: Falcon aircraft
Dates: July 4 – 22., 2008
Contact: H. Schlager, DLR



Troica missions have been conducted within POLARCAT-Norway and RAPSIFACT - a study of Russian Air Pollution Sources and their Impact on Atmospheric Composition in the Arctic. The missions included use of the instrumented TROICA railway carriage, data from several Russian air chemistry measurement stations, data from Svalbard and the FLEXPART transport model 

Organization: Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics (OIAP), NILU
Country: Russia, Norway
Location: Siberia
Platform: TROICA Train Carriage
Dates: Various
Contact: A. Skorokhod, OIAP & A. Engvall, NILU


ASTAR - Arctic Study of Aerosol, Clouds and Radiation

The main focus is on the measurement of aerosol and cloud properties in the polar troposphere using research aircraft. The ASTAR 2007 campaign was timed to capture the end of the Arctic Haze season where pollution events were expected to occur.

Organization: AWI – Alfred Wegner Institute
Country: Germany
Location: Svalbard
Platform: DLR Falcon and AWI Do-228 aircraft
Dates: March 26 - April 17, 2007 previous campaigns in 2000 and 2004
Contact: Andreas Herber, AWI and Andreas Minikin, DLR.

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