NETCARE Research Blog 2015
NETCARE 2015 Annual Workshop
On the morning of November 16th 2015, NETCARE scientists from across Canada, and our collaborators from the US, France, Germany, and the UK gathered at the University of Toronto for our annual two-day workshop event. This year we chose the Hart House, a historic location at the University of Toronto St. George Campus as our venue for the event.
NETCARE's third workshop featured 17 exciting science talks, three break out sessions to develop plans and create goals for future campaigns, and the annual meeting for the NETCARE Executives and Steering Committee. As a new item this year, we also added two lively poster sessions to include an additional 20 presenters. The workshop program is available for download below.
Many of the presentations from the workshop have been made available for download below, and images of the posters will be made available soon. These are currently available in PDF format only, so figure animations may not work. Please note that many of the presentations contain work that is still in progress; figures and results may not be final products. If have questions about any of the presentations, please feel free to contact Bob Christensen for presenter contact information.
Workshop 2015 Program
HQP Training at Dalhousie
This summer I was lucky enough to spend a month at Dalhousie working with Betty Croft in Randall Martin's group. They were very welcoming and I hugely enjoyed my
working with them on the representation of DMS in GEOS-Chem. Spending the month of July on the east coast instead of in sweltering Toronto was just the cherry on top of the great science sundae! We looked at how well GEOS-Chem is able to simulate boundary layer DMS as compared to our ship-board measurements, and explored how we can use that information to better understand the sources of DMS in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Baffin Bay.
Not long after getting back to Ontario, I headed further afield to Kiel, Germany, for the SOLAS conference, where I presented the results that came out of my work with Betty and Randall on the data from the 2014
Amundsen campaign. Again, I enjoyed the cool maritime weather while temperatures climbed back home. The conference was very stimulating and I enjoyed seeing NETCARE colleagues there.
I am very grateful to NETCARE for these opportunities to expand my knowledge of air-sea interactions (and for the added bonus of being able to do so in places so close to the sea!)
-Emma Mungall, NETCARE graduate student
HQP Training at UBC - Roya Ghahremaninezhad
I visited Dr. Allan Bertram’s research lab at UBC to measure the freezing temperature of aerosols, from Aug 2nd to 10th. I collected aerosols in six size fractions between <0.49 and 7.0 microns in diameter on board the Amundsen in the Arctic using a cascade impactor fitted to a high volume sampler. The goal of the project was to examine the role of biogenic sulfate on aerosol formation and growth as well as the activation of cloud nuclei to form precipitation during the Arctic summer. We measured total sulfate and the isotopic composition of sulfate aerosols in the isotope lab at U of Calgary and performed apportionment calculations to quantify the amount of biogenic, anthropogenic and sea salt sulfate. Our next step is to identify whether the aerosol sulfate from biogenic or sea salt sources is associated with IN activation. Dr. Bertram’s research focuses on understanding Ice Nucleation mechanisms. I visited Dr. Bertram’s group and lab at UBC to appropriately measure the temperature at which IN form, and now I can apply this to my aerosol samples. These measurements will help identify whether total sulfate or sulfate from a particular size fraction or source is more important for IN properties in the Arctic summer.
I enjoyed the nice weather and my stay in Vancouver, and I would like to thank Allan, Cedric, Pablo, Vicki, and all other people from the Bertram group. Working in their lab and learning more about their work was very interesting for me and I am looking forward to future collaborations.
A look back at Ucluelet 2013, by Ryan Mason
During August of 2013, a number of measurements were made at the coastal marine boundary layer site of Amphitrite Point near the small (and beautiful) town of Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. As recent modelling studies suggest that primary marine particles may influence the formation and properties of ice and mixed phase clouds in marine regions, coastal sites such as this are vitally important in assessing links between the ocean and atmosphere. We hoped to address this during the focused four-week field study.
Needing to supply our own mobile laboratory, we were able to outfit a commercial cargo trailer with power for the instrumentation and a roof platform for dedicated sampling inlets. A big thanks
to Corinne Schiller from Environment Canada for her advice and assistance and the crews of the UBC electronics and mechanical engineering shops for all of their hard work on getting the lab up
and running on time!
The mobile laboratory housed a WIBS and UV-APS for measuring total and fluorescent bioparticle concentrations and size distributions (Alex and Yuri), a CCNc for measurements of aerosol hygroscopicity (Jacquie and Jenny), a CFDC for measurements of ice nucleating particles (Luis), and cascade impactors for aerosol particle collection (myself and Meng). Meng and I used some of these aerosol samples for offline measurements of ice nucleating particles by optical microscopy, while the remainder was used in fluorescence microscopy or ion chromatography analyses. Students and PIs from the universities of British Columbia, Toronto, and Denver were all on hand for part or all of the month, along with shorter stays by researchers from Environment Canada and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
In addition to work at the site, Jacquie, Lisa, Elena and I collected sea surface microlayer samples from a couple of the nearby inlets and open ocean to establish if a connection existed between
local ocean composition and what we were observing during atmospheric measurements. Although our dinghy was of questionable seaworthiness, it turned out to be very worthwhile to get out onto the
water as Luis was able to use these samples to get very interesting data on the properties marine ice nucleating particles.
Overall, the work at Amphitrite Point was very successful, providing information on marine and terrestrial ice nucleating particles, biological aerosols, CCN, and ion concentrations. The study has yielded three publications thus far (published or submitted), and no doubt more will be on the way. With the mobile laboratory still here on the west coast we hope to conduct similar measurements around the province in the near future.
-Ryan Mason, NETCARE Graduate Student
Wrapping up Polar 6 2015
It’s been a whirlwind past couple of weeks, but now our instruments are shutdown, the last bits of data have been collected and Polar 6 is loaded and headed to Ontario. This campaign has been
both challenging and rewarding. We dealt with a number of challenges both from the science side as well as with the aircraft. Despite some electrical problems, weather delays and finally a failed
generator we were able to carry out ten science flights totaling just under 45 hours of airborne time. We have all learned quite a lot about how to do this kind of work in such a harsh
environment, and have collected some very exciting data along the way.
We conducted two very successful science flights from Eureka. In the end this was somewhat less flying time than we had hoped for at this location, owing to dense fog during three of our six days
there. We all enjoyed our time in Eureka, despite a few days of bad weather we were able to get outside for a lot of walks and make a trip to visit the PEARL research station. After Eureka
it was time to head to Inuvik for the last few days of the campaign. After a two day journey from Eureka, stopping in Resolute due to weather, we landed and Doug quickly discovered that our left
hand generator needed replacement. With only a few days left, and without the required parts in Inuvik, we began to think that we might not have any further science flights. But, with an amazing
effort on the part of our crew and others from KBAL the aircraft was ready to fly again within 24 hours. In the remaining two days of the campaign we carried out three science flights both to the
north and to the south of Inuvik. Highlights from these flights included cloud sampling and intercepting polluted air masses with high concentrations of CO, black carbon, ozone and organic
aerosol. These made for quite a contrast to some of the cleaner air masses we had encountered both in the Inuvik area and further north.
We are all at some stage of heading towards home at the moment. I’m flying with Polar 6, which is on its way back to Muskoka Airport now for the de-integration of instruments over the coming
week. This project has been quite the experience, and now I’m looking forward getting home and having the time and mental space to look deeper into the data I have
-Megan Willis, NETCARE Graduate Student
Updates from Eureka
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
Polar 6 – Waiting in Bremerhaven
It has been a busy couple of weeks in Bremerhaven. In a flurry of activity all the instruments were integrated, tested, and calibrated before our test flight last Thursday. We encountered some problems on the first test flight and so had a second test the following Saturday, and all went well!
Most of our team made it to Longyearbyen in the last couple days by commercial flights. I’m heading up to Longyearbyen via Tromsø with the Polar 6 so that I can take care of my instrument, the SP-AMS, which we hope to keep under vacuum as much as possible. After the test flight we pulled off the under-wing cloud probes, and packed up the plane.
It’s pretty jam-packed, but with enough space for three passengers. Unfortunately, our progress has been hampered by poor weather over Norway and winds gusting up to 50 mph in Bremerhaven today. So now it’s just waiting, and trying not to get too jealous of my colleagues who are already in the Arctic. In the meantime, here are a few impressions from the past two weeks.
-Megan Willis, NETCARE Graduate Student
POLAR6 - The campaign starts with waiting…
We, half of the crew including me, arrived Saturday at our first research station - Longyearbyen, Svalbard - by commercial flights. If things had gone as planned I would not be writing a
blog entry right now but be sitting on Polar 6 operating instruments on our second research flight. Instead,
I am waiting here in Longyearbyen for our research planes to arrive and it seems that we are really unlucky with the weather this time. Stormy weather across northern Europe keeps both planes delayed.
The Polar 6 has not yet managed to leave Bremerhaven, while Polar 5 is stuck in Tromsø hoping for the weather to calm down around Longyearbyen. While the weather was still nice yesterday we took the chance to drive around the area and do a little sightseeing – as much as we could without having a gun to protect us from polar bears and without most of our polar clothes that are packed on the research aircrafts.
I was surprised to learn that Longyearbyen is quite a touristy place with bars and shops around
and visitors from all over the world. The Arctic scenery is impressive: shining white mountains and even some wildlife once in a while.
However, already towards the evening the weather started to change and overnight I was startled awake a couple of times believing our container hotel gets blown away the next moment…
Today the weather is even worse and walking a few meters from the car to the next door is highly unpleasant. So we spent the day in our office at the airport waiting for weather updates and figuring out alternative plans for the upcoming days.
-Julia Burkart, NETCARE Post-Doctoral Fellow
Polar 6 – A quick look at the integration
The integration of instruments into the Polar 6 is under way here in Bremerhaven, Germany. Almost everyone has arrived to start up their instruments and do some final preparations before our
departure date on March 27th. So far, the plane is still empty with everyone is spread out around the hangar doing our best to get everything working. Both the Polar 5 and 6 are here in
Bremerhaven. For this campaign the Polar 5 will focus mainly on sea-ice measurements, while Polar 6 will continue its focus on aerosol chemistry and cloud properties. In the coming days Polar 6
will start to be populated with instruments, but for now here is a quick look at the integration so far!
Preparing for the next POLAR6 campaign
Preparations for the upcoming NETCARE aircraft campaign have been under way in Toronto for the last few months. Late last week we packed
up our instruments and sent them on their way to Bremerhaven, Germany, where we will spend about two weeks integrating them into the Polar 6 starting on March 9th. Unlike our last campaign, which
was based entirely in Resolute, NU, this project involves moving between several stations in conjunction with the AWI PAMARCMiP campaign on the Polar 5. Our first station is Longyearbyen, and
from there we will go to Nord, Alert, Eureka and finally to Innuvik, spending several days at each point and conducting science flights from all locations between March 28th and April 22nd.
Our goals for this campaign include characterization of black carbon aerosol and its removal processes during Arctic springtime, investigation of pollution transport processes, and
characterization of ice clouds and mixed-phase clouds.
My role in this campaign is again to operate the soot-particle aerosol mass spectrometer (SP-AMS) aboard the Polar 6. I learned a lot from running the instrument on the Polar 6 last year, and I hope I can put this experience to work on our upcoming campaign. This campaign will come with a whole new set of challenges, not the least of which is keeping the mass spectrometer happy and running in extremely cold conditions. We hope to make this happen using an insulated instrument blanket and heaters, which we will carry on the plane with us.
Preparation for this campaign has involved a large team of dedicated people from AWI, Environment Canada, UBC, UQAM, UofMainz and UofT. Here in the chemistry department John and Dave, from our machine shop, have helped out a lot by providing some creative solutions to challenges I experienced last year. These were some things I had never thought about, like protecting my instrument from the aircraft heating system that pulls in heat directly off the engines, resulting is rapid temperature changes. We are lucky to have John and Dave around, before the last NETCARE campaign they re-racked my instrument for use in the aircraft. It was a big job, but they came up with a really functional design.
Preparations this time weren't without their own challenges and surprises. The SP-AMS was working really well up until two weeks before our ship-out date, when we had a hardware failure that put a hold on the tests I was doing with the instrument. We had great support from the company that makes the SP-AMS, Aerodyne, and they manufactured a new part for us and had it shipped all within about five days. It was a great relief to be able to test the new part before everything was shipped to Germany!
Once February 13th rolled around the only thing left to do was pack everything up and hope for the best. Here’s hoping for a successful campaign!
-Megan Willis, NETCARE Graduate Student