What Are They Doing?

As snow falls, it carries whatever is in the air with it into the snowpack. Over the past decade, scientists have learned that the chemicals that accumulate in the snow over the long, dark arctic winter react rapidly when they are exposed to the sun in the spring. These sunlight-driven reactions (photochemistry) in snow release a number of pollutants to the lower atmosphere. A team of scientists worked at Summit, Greenland to find out how snow photochemistry affects the composition of the snow and the atmosphere above it by sampling and analyzing reactive chemicals in the snow and in the air, measuring the sunlight in the snowpack, and determining physical properties of the snow.

Where Are They?

The team traveled to Summit Station, located at the peak of the Greenland ice cap atop 3200 meters of ice. Summit is a scientific research station sponsored by the National Science Foundation that supports a diversity of scientific research, including year-round measurements of air-snow interactions that provide crucial knowledge for interpreting data from deep ice cores drilled both at Summit and elsewhere. Learn more about Summit at the Summit Station website.

Latest Journals

September 1, 2008   This is the end…   My wind chapped and sun cracked nose has finally healed.  Family barbeques and fresh garden vegetables are helping me pack the 15 lost pounds back onto my frame.  The heat of summer continues to remind me of cool nights at Summit Camp.   It took a while…
July 14, 2008 – Monday – Finding my way home There’s no place like home… Packing up equipment and long travels have left me weak and worn, but I after 2 nights sleep in a MY BED, I am refreshed once again, and I wanted to take time to fill you in on the trip home! So, settle in, this is fixin’…
July 12, 2008 - Saturday - Homebound Sorry there has been no communication from me in several days.   I have made it from Summit to Kangerlussuaq to Scotia, NY and now I am finally in the airport in Albany, NY...waiting for the next plane to take me to Minneapolis...then...finally to Billings! I…
July 9, 2008 - Wednesday - Saying my Goodbyes We have been breaking down and moving equipment for 17 hours!   In 4 hours, I will be up and readying my gear to leave the ice sheet.  I would write more, but I am worn to the bone. Tomorrow afternoon we should arrive in Kangerlussuaq, I will give a…
Summit, Greenland
Project Funded Title
Radical Chemistry over Sunlit Snow, Summit Greenland

Greenland Atmospheric Studies Resources

PolarTREC Teacher, Craig Beals, talks about his experiences at Summit, Greenland in this online version of an article published by the Billings Gazette on July 21, 2008.

All Aged

This article is from the ABC news website and highlights the PolarTREC program, as well as current and upcoming PolarTREC Expeditions including: Craig Beals in Summit, Greenland and Gerty Ward's upcoming expedition to the Beaufort Sea.

All Aged

Live from IPY! event with Craig Beals and 10 atmospheric researchers working at Summit, Greenland.