The Norwegian Troll station in the Antarctic opened
From 12 February 2005 the Norwegian research station Troll in Antarctica has been opened for year-round operations. The scientific community in the Arctic area has been world known for many years. The research station at Zeppelin Mountain near NyÅlesund has been the basis for much of the research undertaken by NILU. The scientific focus will now also be oriented to the Antarctic regions.
The Troll station is located 1250 m above sea level about 250 km from the sea and will thus be a perfect platform for the study of regional transport of aerosols, pollutants as well as greenhouse gases and toxic contaminants.
Science and IPY Traditionally Norwegian research in Antarctica was focused on biology, geology, oceanography and glaciology. As part of the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-08, however, focus will also be on other disciplines as for instance research related to atmospheric processes and climatic change. Norwegian expertise in Polar related research could also be better explored with more focus on bi-polar comparative studies. It is the research that should be leading, not the geography. However, we are also standing before new possibilities when it comes to participating in international networking and cross-functional projects.
Hazardous pollutants Hazardous pollutants are being transported and deposited most effectively to the cold polar regions of our planet. Comparative studies between the data collected at Zeppelin Mountain in the Arctic and data from Troll will provide important new knowledge. NILU started atmospheric studies already in 2004 at Troll, and will co-operate with a number of national and international research organisations to establish better understanding of the processes in the atmosphere.
UV-radiation in the Antarctic Some of the objectives of the NILU measurements at Troll were to promote observations and research of stratospheric ozone, UV radiation and related physical parameters in the Antarctic region. NILU will study the effect of the predicted recovery of the Antarctic ozone depletion on the UV-radiation. Changes in other parameters affecting UV, such as clouds, aerosols and ground albedo, may also play an important role.
Validation of satellite measurements is also an important element in these studies, as the presence of aerosols, clouds and varying ground reflection (due to snow and ice) is critical to the UV retrievals from satellite measurements.
Climatic change The investigations started at Troll will also give valuable information about global climatic change. Data from Troll will be used to study the dispersion and magnitude of green house gases and particles influencing on the global radiation balance. The development of research stations in Antarctica during IPY will also leave an improved network of measurement sites for future use.
Data dissemination Information to decision makers and to the public will be an important part of the scientific work performed by NILU at Troll. Knowledge about the climate change, ozone and UV radiation will be made available to the public through dedicated Internet pages. NILU will also produce fact sheets, reports and present papers based on the results from Troll.