Barrow Observatory, established in 1973, is located near sea level 8 km east of Barrow, Alaska at 71.32 degrees north. This facility is manned year around by 2 engineers/scientists who often commute to work in winter on snow machines. Due to its unique location, dedicated and highly trained staff, excellent power and communications infrastructure, the Barrow Observatory is host to numerous cooperative research projects from around the world.

BRW is located so that it receives minimal influence from anthropogenic effects. It is about 8 km northeast of the village of Barrow and has a prevailing east-northeast wind off the Beaufort Sea. It is attended at least 5 days a week for routine inspection and maintenance of the instrumentation. In addition, the National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a weather observing facility in Barrow. Although the measurements at Barrow are made over open tundra, there are large lagoons and a number of lakes in the vicinity, and the Arctic Ocean is less than 3 km northwest of the site. Because of its proximity to these bodies of water and the fact that the prevailing winds are off the Beaufort Sea, BRW is perhaps best characterized as having an Arctic maritime climate affected by variations of weather and sea ice conditions in the Central Arctic.

GMD Projects at Barrow, Alaska

Carbon Cycle Surface Flasks

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Carbon Dioxide CO2 1971-04-25 Ongoing
Methane CH4 1983-04-06 Ongoing
Carbon Monoxide CO 1988-07-24 Ongoing
Molecular Hydrogen H2 1988-07-24 Ongoing
Nitrous Oxide N2O 1997-05-02 Ongoing
Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6 1997-05-02 Ongoing
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Carbon Dioxide d13C (CO2) 1990-01-06 Ongoing
Oxygen-18/Oxygen-16 in Carbon Dioxide d18O (CO2) 1990-01-06 Ongoing
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Methane d13C (CH4) 1998-01-03 Ongoing
D/H in Methane dD (CH4) 2005-04-01 Terminated - 2010-03-12
Methyl Chloride CH3Cl 2005-05-20 Ongoing
Benzene C6H6 2007-02-16 Ongoing
toluene C7H8 2007-02-16 Ongoing
ethane C2H6 2005-05-20 Ongoing
ethene C2H4 2005-05-20 Ongoing
propane C3H8 2005-05-20 Ongoing
propene C3H6 2005-05-20 Ongoing
i-butane i-C4H10 2005-05-20 Ongoing
n-butane n-C4H10 2005-05-20 Ongoing
i-pentane i-C5H12 2005-05-20 Ongoing
n-pentane n-C5H12 2005-05-20 Ongoing
n-hexane n-C6H14 2005-05-20 Ongoing
Wind Speed ws 1992-07-10 Ongoing
Wind Direction wd 1992-07-10 Ongoing
Temperature temp 2004-08-21 Terminated - 2004-09-13
isoprene C5H8 2007-02-16 Ongoing
Acetylene C2H2 2010-07-08 Ongoing
Carbon-14/Carbon in Methane D14C (CH4) 2013-03-26 Ongoing
Carbon-13/Carbon-12 in Carbon Monoxide d13C (CO) 1990-03-28 Terminated - 1996-08-21

Carbon Cycle In Situ Observatory

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Carbon Dioxide CO2 1973-07-24 Ongoing
Methane CH4 1986-01-29 Ongoing
Carbon Monoxide CO 1991-09-11 Ongoing
Nitrous Oxide N2O 2013-06-27 Ongoing

HATS Flask Sampling

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
HFC-134a CH2FCF3 1994-11-25 Ongoing
HCFC-22 CHF2Cl 1992-04-08 Ongoing
Methyl Chloride CH3Cl 1994-04-15 Ongoing
HCFC-142b CH3CF2Cl 1992-04-08 Ongoing
Halon-1211 CBrClF2 1992-02-14 Ongoing
methyl bromide CH3Br 1994-01-26 Ongoing
HCFC-141b CH3CCl2F 1993-01-07 Ongoing
CFC-113 CCl2FCClF2 1992-02-14 Ongoing
dichloromethane CH2Cl2 1994-04-15 Ongoing
tetrachloroethylene C2Cl4 1993-12-11 Ongoing
carbonyl sulfide COS 2000-03-25 Ongoing
HFC-152a CH3CHF2 2000-08-03 Ongoing
Halon 1301 CF3Br 2004-02-14 Ongoing
Halon 2402 CBrF2CBrF2 1995-02-25 Ongoing
HFC-143a CH3CF3 2007-01-19 Ongoing
HFC-227ea CF3CHFCF3 2011-06-13 Ongoing
HFC-365mfc CH3CF2CH2CF3 2009-08-10 Ongoing
HFC-125 CHF2CF3 2007-01-19 Ongoing
HFC-32 CH2F2 2009-03-26 Ongoing
Methyl Chloroform CH3CCl3 1992-04-08 Ongoing

HATS In Situ Observatory

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Nitrous Oxide N2O 1998-06-16 Ongoing
Sulfur Hexafluoride SF6 1998-06-15 Ongoing
HCFC-22 CHF2Cl 1998-11-13 Ongoing
CFC-12 CCl2F2 1998-06-16 Ongoing
Methyl Chloride CH3Cl 1998-08-30 Ongoing
HCFC-142b CH3CF2Cl 1998-09-03 Ongoing
Halon-1211 CBrClF2 1998-06-15 Ongoing
CFC-113 CCl2FCClF2 1998-06-16 Ongoing
carbon tetrachloride CCl4 1998-06-16 Ongoing
Methyl Chloroform CH3CCl3 1998-06-16 Ongoing
CFC-11 CCl3F 1998-06-16 Ongoing

Aerosol Surface In-Situ

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Light Scattering Coefficient σsp 1976-05-07 Ongoing
Light Absorption Coefficient σap 1988-01-01 Ongoing
Particle Number Concentration Nt 1976-05-07 Ongoing
Aerosol Chemical Composition 1998-01-01 Ongoing
Cloud condensation nucleus number concentration Nccn 2007-01-01 Ongoing
Aerosol Hygroscopic Growth f(RH) 2007-01-01 Ongoing
Aerosol Size Distribution n(D) 2007-01-01 Ongoing

Radiation In-Situ Observatory

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Direct Beam 1976-01-01 Ongoing
Shortwave Global 1976-01-01 Ongoing
Diffuse 1995-07-05 Ongoing
Reflected Shortwave 1985-01-01 Ongoing
Downward Longwave 1993-04-20 Ongoing
Upward Longwave 1993-04-20 Ongoing

Surface Ozone

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Ozone O3 1973-03-14 Ongoing

Dobson Total Ozone

Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Ozone O3 1973-07-29 Ongoing



Parameter Formula First Sample Date Status
Wind Speed ws 1973-02-17 Ongoing
Wind Direction wd 1973-02-17 Ongoing
Temperature temp 1976-01-01 Ongoing
Ambient Pressure press 1976-01-01 Ongoing
Relative Humidity rh 1976-01-01 Ongoing