2020-2021 Science Planning Summaries
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2020-2021 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

UV measurements at McMurdo Station for the NOAA/Global Monitoring Division (GMD) Antarctic UV network

A NOAA technician enjoys the night sky during instrument checks at the Atmospheric Research Observatory.
Photo by: Geoff Chen
O-257-M/S Research Location(s): Near Field, Arrival Heights


Event Number:
NSF / NOAA Agreement

Program Manager:
Dr. David Porter

ASC POC/Implementer:
John Rand / Elizabeth Kauffman

Principal Investigator(s)

Dr. James Hall Butler
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Global Monitoring Division (GMD)
Boulder, Colorado


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station, South Pole Station
Research Locations: Near Field, Arrival Heights


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division (ESRL-GMD) will continue long-term measurements of ultra-violet (UV) radiation that influences climate and the ozone layer. The observations are made in conjunction with ongoing worldwide measurements of carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, aerosols, water vapor, surface and stratospheric ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, and the ozone layer. The measurements are used for time-series analysis of multi-year data focusing on stratospheric ozone depletion;, trans-Antarctic transport and deposition; the interplay of trace-gas aerosols with the solar and terrestrial radiation fluxes on the polar plateau; the magnitude of seasonal and temporal variations in greenhouse gases; and the development of polar stratospheric clouds over Antarctica.

Field Season Overview

At McMurdo Station, NOAA operates a high resolution UV spectroradiometer at the Arrival Heights Lab. The equipment runs continuously during the dark periods of winter, essentially autonomously, with only limited intervention required by personnel onsite or by the researchers via the internet. Service visits are scheduled biennially, with no visit scheduled during 2020-21. An onsite Research Associate will put the equipment into operation during the winter months, take it out of operation in the austral spring, and provide monitoring, troubleshooting, and the collection and forwarding of data as needed throughout the year.