PBL-AOE Planetary Boundary Layer - Arctic Ocean Experiment
The overall objective is to increase knowledge of the impact of aerosols on climate. Whilst greenhouse gases are responsible for increases in the Earth's temperature, aerosols have the opposite effect due to their impact on the radiation balance. Aerosol particles can have both a direct and indirect effect by reflecting solar radiation and by functioning as cloud condensation nuclei forming clouds which in their turn also increase solar radiation reflection.
The reason for carrying out this type of research specifically in the Arctic is partly because the area is especially sensitive to climatic changes. Also and most importantly because the air in the Arctic during summer is particularly free of man-made pollutants which might otherwise disturb the measurement and observation of natural processes. The greater part of the activities of the atmosphere programme will be carried out during a 30-day ice drift when the ship will be anchored to drifting sea ice. Research will be carried out both aboard ship and on the ice and data collected by balloon probes and helicopter.