NSFGEO-NERC: The Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit,Aerosol-Cloud Experiment

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: School of Earth and Environment


The Integrated Characterization of Energy, Clouds, Atmospheric state, and Precipitation at Summit (ICECAPS) project has continuously operated a sophisticated suite of ground-based instruments at Summit Station, Greenland since 2010 for observing clouds, precipitation, and atmospheric structure. The project has significantly advanced the understanding of cloud properties, radiation and surface energy, and precipitation processes over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), while also supporting process-based model evaluation, development of new measurement techniques, ground comparisons for multiple satellite measurements and aircraft missions, and operational radiosonde data for weather forecast models.

Here will expand on the original work with a two-year extension to core ICECAPS work and include an Aerosol-Cloud Experiment (ACE). We will enhance the ICECAPS project by pursuing two primary goals: 1) provide a better understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions over the GrIS and how they impact the surface energy budget, and 2) provide observations that for numerical model assessment as part of the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP).

This project is an international collaboration that funds the original ICECAPS researchers through the U.S. National Science Foundation's Arctic Observing Network and a team of aerosol researchers through the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council.

Planned Impact

As society begins to acknowledge the implications of climate change, it is necessary to understand how the physical climate system operates and evolves. Greenland is of critical importance to human society because it is currently a large contributor to sea-level rise, and the GrIS is melting at an accelerating rate. Providing a better understanding of the interactions between aerosols and clouds is of direct societal value because of their ultimate impact on the GrIS mass budget. This project will continue the successful record of international collaborations started by the ICECAPS project, which have made use of the unique ICECAPS data sets over the GrIS. This project will also continue to train the next generation of polar scientists by providing valuable opportunities for polar fieldwork and experimental research. The ICECAPS research team will continue to provide innovative approaches to teaching polar science through the use of primary and secondary teaching modules that utilize hand-held instruments that emulate ICECAPS instruments, and by creating and disseminating Computational Guided Inquiries that use polar field data for undergraduate and graduate engineering and science courses.


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