The Arctic experiences dramatic changes due to climate warming. The underlying processes of the observed changes are not fully understood, yet they propagate through the entire global climate system with impacts on weather, ecosystems and geopolitics. Aerosol particles and clouds play a major role in that system and are among the main contributors to the overall uncertainties. We will investigate the chemical and microphysical properties of cloud droplets and aerosol particles using state-of-the-art experimental techniques. A special focus is set on the contribution of bioaerosols, which, despite their low number concentration, can have an important role in cloud formation and precipitation in pristine Arctic air. For this, we will operate a novel multiparameter bioaerosol spectrometer for the first time in the Arctic.

In order to characterize a full annual cycle – which will include the important polar night – we will expand our analysis using measurements of cloud and aerosol properties (including bioaerosols) at Zeppelin station on Spitsbergen in 2019 and 2020. The measurements have started in June 2019 (see photos below).  The project also benefits from large and comprehensive dataset of aerosols, clouds and meteorological parameters from the Arctic Ocean 2018 expedition on board the Swedish icebreaker Oden (see project website here).

Ambient aerosol particles and clouds will be sampled at Zeppelin Observatory with our special cloud inlet (called the counterflow virtual impactor inlet). Photo: Paul Zieger.

The new bioaerosol sensor installed behind the CVI inlet at Zeppelin Observatory. Photo: Paul Zieger.



Project Info

Project start: 2019

Funded by

VR Starting Grant (Biogenic particles and their role in the formation of Arctic clouds, project no. 2018-05045)