Antarctica to reveal pre-industrial atmosphere


While we understand the effects of carbon dioxide emissions on climate quite well, there are other substances and atmospheric processes that are not yet well characterized. Among these processes are aerosol-cloud interactions. To understand the anthropogenic influence on aerosol-cloud processes, we need to know what these processes are like without human impact. More specifically, we need to know how small particles in the atmosphere interact with clouds in pristine conditions. This is challenging, because there are hardly any places left on Earth with conditions similar to the preindustrial age. The region that qualifies best is the Southern Ocean.

During the expedition, we will operate a number of scientific instruments on-board the research vessel that will help us understand how emissions from the ocean to the atmosphere influence particles, how these particles form and grow in the air, and what they are chemically composed of. We will test whether these particles can form cloud droplets or ice crystals. These on-board measurements will help us to improve satellite data retrieval methods and global climate model simulations.

Principal Investigator (PI)

Julia Schmale

Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland


Study of Preindustrial-like Aerosol – Climate Effects (ACE-SPACE)

Principal institution / country

  • Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland)
  • Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig (Germany)
  • University of Leeds, Leeds (UK)
  • The Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
  • Jerusalem (Israel)
  • University of Cranfield (UK)
  • Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland)