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Activities under the Vienna Convention Trust Fund for Research and Systematic Observation

Launch of a radiosonde instrument at Ushuaiain Argentina to measure ozone concentration.
Photo Credit: Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, Argentina

Planned Activities

Dobson intercomparison campaign in Melbourne, Australia.
Photo Credit: Matt Tully, Australian Bureau of Meteorology

With this relocation Singapore will replace its Dobson no. 7 which is currently out of order, with Dobson no. 8, which is in good working condition but not in use at present. Dobson no. 7 is to be sent to Germany for refurbishment at the Regional Dobson Calibration Centre for Europe. The reloaction is planned to take place in 2019.

Completed and Ongoing Activities

The project will support an additional year of operations of a recently-built high-altitude atmospheric measurement station at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. Ozonesondes will be launched from the station with a frequency of two soundings per month during a year.

Recent findings from an initial time series of 12 soundings launched from the station between June 2014 and September 2015 suggest that the tropical tropopause layer above the equatorial Andes is likely to be permanently thin. With easterly flow from the Amazon converging at the equator, it is possible that the eastern Andes are a major entrance of tropospheric water vapor into the stratosphere. The activity will expand monitoring capabilities to regions where observations of atmospheric constituents are scarce and will provide the ozone science community with a unique set of data from a geographically relevant region of the world. The activity will be implemented on 1 March - 30 April 2019 and will be supported by the Government of Ecuador in subsequent years.

The WMO/GAW northern Africa campaign, which is one of the two campaigns scheduled for Africa,  will take care of the Dobson instruments in the southern part of Africa (Botswana, Kenya, Nigeria, Seychelles and South Africa) and will take place on 7 - 8 October 2019, hosted by the South Africa Weather Service.

Following the completion of phase 1 of the Kenyan proposal, trainees will implement at KMD what they learnt during the training they received in the Czech Republic and Switzerland, remaining in close contact with their counterparts in Switzerland. During phase 2, scientists from Swiss institutions that participated in the training will visit Kenya for two weeks to review the progress in the implementation, and to identify and meet further training needs as much as possible. A regular follow-up through telecomunication or e-mail correspondence organized by KMD thereafter for a period of 6 months shall ensure that all the knowledge gathered has been successively implemented in a sustainable manner. The activity will take in spring 18-28 March 2019.

A Dobson intercomparison campaign for Latin America and the Caribbean is programmed to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 4 - 22 March 2019, in order to calibrate instruments from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and Uruguay. Consequently, training on observations techniques, data processing, and data archiving by experts from SMN and NOAA (USA) will be offered to participants.

The project proposal was put forward by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) and has been supported by Switzerland through the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), KMD’s long-term twinning partner.

The main objective of the project was to further enhance the knowledge and skills of KMD GAW personnel in the operation of instruments and data management addressing competencies in measurements, instrument calibrations, analyses and data management of atmospheric composition, documentation with metadata and data submission.

The first part of the project involved training of four KMD GAW staff, first in the Czech Republic at the Solar and UV Observatory in Hradec Kralove (18-23 June 2018); and then in Switzerland at MeteoSwiss in Payerne (25-27 June 2018); at Empa in Dübendorf  (28 June-2 July 2018); and at MeteoSwiss in Zürich (3-6 July 2018).

Upon completion of the training, the KMD GAW staff:

  • Acquired skills, knowledge and experience on Dobson and Brewer spectrophotometer readings and measurements, standard and mercury lamps tests as well as on Dobson data processing and editing;
  • Gained sound scientific knowledge on better performance of the vertical ozone profile measurements, data archiving and carrying out statistical analysis on data as quality control tool.
  • Had practical exposure to air quality laboratories at EMPA, equipment and machines used in atmospheric air quality data collection;
  • Had the opportunity to interact with scientists from excellent centers of research with vast experience in atmospheric Chemistry, Meteorology and research.

During the second phase of the project, Swiss scientists will visit KMD to make sure the training received during the first phase is put into practice properly.

Project Proposals

The listed proposals are currently under consideration by the Advisory Committee of the Trust Fund