Studying the Arctic Atmosphere
The atmosphere is a key component of Earth's climate system, and so is the Arctic. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere like carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor help keep the earth warm and habitable for us, but can cause things to get too warm when their concentrations increase. Tiny little solid particles or liquid droplets in the atmosphere called aerosols (e.g., dust) can impact the amount of sunlight reaching the earth's surface and are also very important for the formation of clouds. The atmosphere, ocean, and sea ice in the Arctic are intimately connected by processes like the water cycle. Increasing our understanding of atmospheric processes, particularly in the Arctic, is key for improving global climate models.
Quick Bite: How did MOSAiC scientists study the Arctic atmosphere?
Click on the pictures below to read articles or blog posts describing some of the instruments scientists used to study the Arctic atmosphere during the 2019-2020 MOSAiC Arctic research expedition. Then, draw a picture of your favorite instrument and annotate it - that is, draw arrows to parts of the instrument and write a brief description describing them and what their function is.
Photo credits (TL): Anne Gold; (TR): Esther Horvath; (BL): Konrad Barfuss; (BR): Ravenna Koenig/NPR