UV Intercomparison and Integration in a High Arctic Environment (UV-ICARE)

The project aims to create a network for monitoring UV irradiance and ozone column at Svalbard including existing instruments in Ny-Ålesund, Hornsund and Barentsburg, as well as a new instrument at Longyearbyen. An inter-comparison of the instruments will be performed in spring 2017. Historical data will be gathered in a common database.

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Project type

  • field work
  • long-term monitoring
  • data management


  • atmosphere

Project Keywords

  • atmosphere / atmospheric radiation / ultraviolet radiation

Fieldwork information

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There is a need to homogenize observations of UV irradiance, ozone and related parameters in Svalbard by (i) integrating the existing stations in a regional network with a common data protocol and data processing methodologies and (ii) reinforcing/secure the cooperation among the corresponding research teams. We believe that such a network will indeed provide more reliable datasets characterizing both UV and ozone behaviour over Svalbard, which then can be used by scientists working on climatic and biological issues in the Arctic and for validation of satellite data. With respect to integration activities, an inter-comparison campaign at Ny-Ålesund was performed in 2009 [Gröbner et al., 2010] which showed a good quality of the participating radiometers but successive activities to homogenize these instruments were not made. The present proposal aims to fill this gap in a more complete and realistic investigation of the problems related to the solar UV irradiance and ozone column. The establishment of the network with instruments in Ny-Ålesund, Hornsund, Barentsburg and Longyearbyen will require several steps: • The most important point is the availability of reliable instrumentation that imposes the necessity of an intercomparison campaign, which will provide information about the capability of the devices to produce data of sufficient quality. • The next step is the elaboration of the common data format protocol and procedures for the initial data processing in order to achieve an acceptable homogeneity of data set provided by the network. It is envisaged that the format will be compatible with those used in the international community (WOUDC). • Another important activity is to establish common products and perform joint analysis of the data collected until now so that a climatology and an integrated set of products could be created in a form allowing to be used by other scientists in their studies. Firstly, we will focus on an inter-comparison campaign in Ny-Ålesund with the opportunity not only to check the quality of the instrumentation, but also to co-locate a workshop and have a discussion on (i) harmonisation of the data analysis procedures, (ii) potential users in the interested scientific community, (iii) need for upgrades of systems and new measurements, and (iv) actions to strengthen the cooperation between the groups working on these topics in the Svalbard Archipelago and enlarge it to surrounding areas. In contrast to initial plans, the inter-comparison campaign will be carried out in the late spring 2018, in order to guarantee the highest values of solar radiation and hopefully minimum cloud coverage and low aerosol load conditions, i.e., in the last phase of the project. The intercomparison campaign in Ny-Ålesund will also serve as an opportunity to have discussions with the biology community operating on site and then collect their needs in terms of parameters/products. This will enable us to address in the best way the third step of the process to establish a network in relation to UV fluxes and total ozone column. Due to the postponement, we will be able to include the new Czech instrument which will be set up in Longyearbyen in the frame of this project in summer 2017. Historical data from existing instruments will be collected in a dedicated database and analysis work will start as soon as this tool is in place. This includes discussion and dialogue about common analysis procedures for the elaboration of measurements performed by the different stations as well as work to collect historical records and harmonize them in a common format. To further enhance these efforts, a dedicated workshop will be arranged in autumn 2017. The workshop will also be used to optimally prepare the inter-comparison campaign in 2018. As a result of the project we expect to have an integrated data-set containing both the previous measurement results collected at different stations and those obtained after the campaign.

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