ISAC EVK2
Himalaya

BACKGROUND

The Himalayan-Karakorum range separates two of the world's most densely populated developing countries, India and China where demands for energy and mobility have increased simultaneously with the intensification of industrial activities and vehicular traffic. This leads to a growth of anthropogenic pollutant emissions, as pointed out in recent studies of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP). These emissions increase the concentrations of aerosol, greenhouse gases and ozone precursors, promoting intense photochemical smog episodes. Studies concerning Asian Brown Cloud have shown that the haze blocks up to 15% of the Sun's radiation causing a possible cooling of the ground and a heating of the atmosphere, which can affect monsoons and other rainfall patterns.

Thus, in this area, the continuous monitoring of atmospheric composition represents a necessary activity to well evaluate the impact of the human activities on the environment. Nevertheless, due to technical and logistic difficulties to carry out continuous measurements at high altitude in Himalayas, no systematic observations of atmospheric constituents are available in this area still now

For these reasons, as part of SHARE-Asia experiment, a remote monitoring station (the "ABC-Pyr Laboratory") has been installed in the framework of the "High Altitude ABC monitoring stations in Himalaya and Karakorum" task.

WHY

  • to obtain a chemical climatology of aerosol properties (optical, chemical and physical) at an high elevation site in Hymalaias over the duration of the SHARE-Asia experiment;
  • to evaluate temporal trends of aerosol composition as a function of sources/transport;
  • to evaluate the variations of radiative forcing produced by aerosols;
  • to study the background ozone behavior and evaluate the contributions of stratospheric ozone intrusions as well as long range and regional transport of polluted air masses
  • to monitor the concentration trends of major Halocarbons and greenhouse gases

WHERE

The remote monitoring station ABC-Pyr Laboratory has been installed in the Khumbu valley (Nepal), at 5079 m a.s.l . not far from the Italian Pyramid Observatory.

HOW

The ABC-Pyr Laboratory, which represents an unique source of data, was projected to perform in-situ, at very high altitude, the following continuous scientific measurements:

  • Aerosol number concentration and size distribution (15nm to 32Ám)
  • Black carbon concentration
  • Total and back scattering coefficient
  • Aerosol optical depth
  • Surface ozone concentrations
  • Greenhouses gas concentration (CFC, HFC, HCFC,...; in flask)
  • Meteorological parameters (air temperature, Atmospheric pressure, Relative humidity, Wind speed and direction, Precipitation)
  • Chemical characterization (organic and inorganic) of aerosol particles (high volume sampling on quartz filters)


All the scientific instrumentation and the technological facilities hosted in the ABC-PYR Laboratory have been checked during a preliminary test-campaign carried out in Bologna (Italy) at CNR-ISAC during Autumn 2005.

Moreover, a satellite connection allows for the remote login to the scientific instrumentation hosted in the ABC-Pyr Laboratory and for the near real-time transfer of scientific data to the main database hosted at CNR-ISAC in Bologna.

The ABC-PYR laboratory during the preliminary tests at ISAC - CNR (Bologna - Italy)

Measurements:

Aerosol number concentration and size distribution - Black carbon - Total scattering coefficient - Back scattering coefficient - Surface ozone - Air temperature - Atmospheric pressure - Relative humidity - Wind speed and direction - Precipitation