It’s been a while but here we are again! We are currently in Eureka at our third research station. After 10 successful days of flying we are now held back by fog and it’s time for a short
Let’s have a quick look back in time: After several delays due to stormy weather throughout Europe, the Polar 6 and the rest of the crew finally reached us on April 4 in Longyearbyen. As soon as they had landed we started to prepare the aircraft for the science flights. Having spent a week waiting, we didn't want to lose a single minute. Boxes of spare parts and other equipment had to be unloaded, cloud probes mounted below the wings and our instruments tested once more. The weather was predicted to be fair the next day and we were eager to do our first science flight. On April 5 this finally happened! See below some impressions of our first flight.
We have been quite lucky since our first flight, and despite the delayed start everything went very well over the last 10 days. We could fly almost every day and so far we have done 7 project flights and three ferry flights. Thanks to our pilots we were also able to operate some instruments during the ferry flights. This sums up to almost 36 hours of sampled Arctic atmosphere. Eight times we flew up to 20000ft and observed several layers with elevated concentrations of black carbon and relatively large particles, presumably polluted air masses arriving in the Arctic by long range transport. In contrast, in cleaner air masses we found high concentrations of much smaller particles which might have formed locally. In general the atmosphere makes a very different impression than during our summer study In Resolute Bay and it will be exciting to compare data from both studies. Hopefully this will yield a deeper understanding of the processes determining the Arctic aerosol.
For now we hope to get at least another dozen of hours of measurements! See the pictures below to get an idea of what we have been up to the last two weeks.
-Julia Burkart, NETCARE Post-Doctoral Fellow