Tropical Atlantic Cruise to Monitor Ocean Surface and Atmosphere

April 30, 2007

From May 2-31, 2007, researcher Dan Wolfe from the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division (PSD) will participate in the PIRATA Northeast Extension / AMMA / Sahara Dust cruise aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown. The Pilot Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) Northeast Extension project will utilize a moored buoy system and automatic meteorological stations to obtain upper ocean and near surface atmospheric data. Wolfe's work in particular will center on the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) and Sahara Dust projects. He will run/maintain the on-board weather radar, satellite system, and flux system. These equipment will collect data on sea surface temperatures and the atmosphere above the ocean. In addition he will coordinate compilation of the data collected from PIRATA and AMMA.

AMMA is a coordinated international project to improve our knowledge and understanding of the West African Monsoon, its variability and impacts. Variability in West African weather and climate also impacts the rest of the world. Since West Africa is also part of the world's major source region of mineral dust aerosol, this is also an important opportunity for researchers to study the mobilization, transport and impacts of dust on weather and climate. Other organizations involved in this mission include AOML, PMEL, NESDIS, Howard University, University of Miami, and the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.

The data collected from this mission will help understand and improve general model parameterizations, and can be studied to help improve prediction of the African Monsoon and the transport of dust from the Sahara Desert. This research supports NOAA's mission goal of understanding climate variability and change to enhance society's ability to plan and respond.

Contact: Daniel Wolfe