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Special Feature: Reactive Gases in the Global Atmosphere

Collection launched: 27 Feb 2014

Frank Flocke, NCAR Earth System Laboratory

Insights from contributions to the World Meteorological Organization Global Atmosphere Watch program.

Reactive trace gases in the Earth's atmosphere can have adverse effects on human health, environment and materials, they influence regional climate and are involved in many biogeochemical cycles. Atmospheric chemical reactions also play an important role in cleansing the atmosphere from anthropogenic and natural emissions. Assessing the importance and impacts of reactive gases in the atmosphere requires knowledge of the global distribution and long-term changes in their concentrations. Reactive gases are one of six focal areas in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Program. It aims at establishing a global network of high-quality observations from ground-based, airborne and other platforms that can be used to deliver products and services relevant to scientists, policy makers, and general users in relation to environmental problems listed above.

This Special Feature invites contributions that either describe and analyze GAW measurements or which link to GAW data by performing similar analyses (quality assurance, trend analyses, model-data comparisons) with tropospheric reactive gases observations.

Additional articles under review

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at 3,580 m in the Swiss Alps, is the highest elevation WMO GAW station in Europe.
The Schneefernerhaus on the flanks of Zugspitze Mountain is the highest GAW observatory in Germany, providing baseline measurements of climate and short-lived gases for the Northern Alps region.
an isolated Pacific Island is location of one of the Japanese WMO GAW sites.
York Labortories
Quality assurance of observations is an important aspect of the GAW Program. To reach network compatibility GAW assigned individual laboratories around the World to prepare and keep traceable records of primary standard for individual species. The stations within the network ensure their traceability to these primary standards. The photo shows one of the shelves with calibration gases at the Unviersity of York.
The Atmospheric Research Observatory
The GAW Atmospheric Research Observatory at South Pole is one of the flagships of contributing US NOAA/NSF stations.
SAUNA Campaign
Celebration of successful intercomparison measurements, during the SAUNA (Sodankyla Total Ozone Intercomparison and Validation) Campaign in Socankyla, Finland, at -26C in March 2006.
High Mountain Station
A high mountain station in the Himalayas, the GAW Pyramid station in Nepal.
NOAA Barrow Atmospheric Observatory
The GAW NOAA Barrow Atmospheric Observatory, located in the Arctic Tundra and close proximity to the Beaufort Sea.
GA Training and Education Centre GAWTEC
Capacity development is an important component of the GAW program. The GAW Training and Education Centre GAWTEC is organized by the German Environmental Agency and located at the Schneefernerhaus. GAWTEC provides scientific guidance and instructions to GAW station personnel. Courses are organized twice a year and cover measurement techniques, the theoretical background of atmospheric physics and chemisty, and data handling and interpretation.
GAW Quality Assurance
Instrument intercomparisons play an important role in the GAW Quality Assurance program. These comparison are organized in different regions and under different environmental conditions. Dobson comparison campaign in Egypt is shown in this year 2004 photo.
Bondville Site
Precipitation chemistry analysis is one of the focal areas in GAW. This picture shows a monitoring site in Bondville, Illinois, United States, operated by the US National Atmospheric Deposition Program since 1979.
The Pico Mountain Observatory
in the Azores Islands, Portugal, after a light April snow fall. INSTAARs Atmospheric Research Laboratory is in its sixth year of atmospheric transport and chemistry research with air monitoring at this remote island in the North Atlantic off the coast of Portugal. March 2009. Photo: Jacques Hueber (INSTAAR).
Summit Station
The GAW Summit Station, in the center off and on top of the Greenland Ice shield is the only high elevation observing site in the Arctic, providing year-round data on the composition of the polar background atmosphere.
Exchange of Passive Samplers
for collection of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) at Bukit Kototabang, Indonesia, in January 2007.

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