If you recall the first part of the expedition, we serviced and maintained 10 Automated Weather Stations across the Greenland ice sheet. Although there is only one BRSN station on the Greenland ice sheet, it too needs to be serviced and maintained on an annual basis. Each year, Koni or one of his Swiss technicians, come to Summit Station to check the BSRN station and make any necessary changes.
BSRN is a project of the Radiation Panel from the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment GEWEX under the umbrella of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and as such is aimed at detecting important changes in the Earth's radiation field at the Earth's surface which may be related to climate changes.
The data are of primary importance in supporting the validation and confirmation of satellite and computer model estimates of these quantities. At a small number of stations (currently about 40) in contrasting climatic zones, covering a latitude range from 80°N to 90°S (see station maps ), solar and atmospheric radiation is measured with instruments of the highest available accuracy and with high time resolution (1 to 3 minutes). The BSRN was recently (early 2004) designated as the global baseline network for surface radiation for the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS). The BSRN stations also contribute to the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW).
1) Monitor the background shortwave and longwave radiative components (least influenced by immediate human activities which are regionally concentrated) and their changes with the best methods currently available.
2) Provide data for the calibration of satellite-based estimates of the surface radiative fluxes.
3) Produce high quality observational data to be used for validating the theoretical computations of radiative fluxes by models.
The Summit Station BSRN stations relay the data it collects to CIRES at the University of Colorado at Boulder where it is compiled and analyzed. Then it is sent to Germany to be combined with the remaining BSRN stations from around the world.
When we arrived, one of the BSRN instruments was not functioning and it needed to be raised in preparation for the upcoming winter snow accumulation. So, we had to locate the BSRN tripod that was stored somewhere on the winter berm at the north end of Summit Station.
Because the BSRN instruments are located in the clean air sector of Summit Station, all equipment and gear must be transported manually by a sled or carried.
After the BSRN station was raised, we enjoyed the rest of the day to catch up on paperwork and relaxation. We would wait 24hrs to see if the internal tracking device realigned the station.
Together, the sun and snow created unique picture taking opportunities. Here are a few pictures I took later that evening.
Tomorrow, we wrap up our work at Summit Station.