South Pole Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO)

The Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO) at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station (WAP USA-21)  is a National Science Foundation (NSF) facility located near the geographic South Pole. The NSF has allocated ARO to a long-term research program conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Monitoring Division (NOAA/OAR/ESRL/GMD).

ARO is located approximately four hundred meters grid east-northeast of the main station, physically separated and on the edge of a designated area called the Clean Air Sector. Due to local meteorology, winds at South Pole are very consistent, hence the designation of the Clean Air Sector. By positioning on the edge of this sector, ARO remains upwind of the local pollution inherent around the daily industrial operations of Amundsen-Scott Station. This clean upwind air is representative of the true mixed background atmosphere over Antarctica, and by sampling this air, ARO can establish an accurate long-term climate record of the continent. The mission of ARO is to measure long-term trends of important trace gases, aerosols, and solar radiation and to investigate the influence of these gases and aerosols on the Earth’s climate.

Thanks and credit to NOAA

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