Deployment of VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment


September 29, 2008

Researchers from the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory will participate in the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx). The R/V Ron Brown will set sail on October 6th from Charleston, SC and arrive at its final destination of Arica, Chile in early December. This international field program will focus on making dual observations of ocean and atmosphere conditions in the southeastern subtropical Pacific Ocean; a region prone to colder sea surface temperatures and large accumulations of stratocumulus clouds. Onboard instrumentation, data buoys, and research aircraft will take measurements of cloud properties, aerosols, transport of freshwater offshore, chemical and physical interactions between the ocean surface and lower atmosphere. In addition, ESRL has built a new W-Band cloud radar, which will be tested for the first time on this cruise. The radar's antenna is mounted on a mechanically stabilized platform also designed at ESRL. This new radar is especially sensitive to drizzle and stratus-type clouds and will help in understanding the affects of clouds on radiative fluxes.

The VOCALS Project is an activity of the CLIVAR/GEWEX Variability of the American Monsoon System (VAMOS) Panel under the direction of an international Science Working Group, and sponsored by NSF and NOAA with contributions from ONR and DOE. Its major goal is to develop and promote scientific activities leading to improved understanding of the southeast Pacific coupled ocean-atmosphere-land system on diurnal to inter-annual timescales.

With a broader base of scientific information available, better understanding of the phenomena driving the southeastern Pacific climate can be used to improve computer simulations and predictions on local to global scales at longer timeframes.

Contact: Chris Fairall   More Information: