Free Newsletter
Register for our Free Newsletters
Newsletter
Zones
Advanced Composites
LeftNav
Aerospace
LeftNav
Amorphous Metal Structures
LeftNav
Analysis and Simulation
LeftNav
Asbestos and Substitutes
LeftNav
Associations, Research Organisations and Universities
LeftNav
Automation Equipment
LeftNav
Automotive
LeftNav
Biomaterials
LeftNav
Building Materials
LeftNav
Bulk Handling and Storage
LeftNav
CFCs and Substitutes
LeftNav
Company
LeftNav
Components
LeftNav
Consultancy
LeftNav
View All
Other Carouselweb publications
Carousel Web
Defense File
New Materials
Pro Health Zone
Pro Manufacturing Zone
Pro Security Zone
Web Lec
Pro Engineering Zone
 
 
 
News

Researchers return to Antarctica in pursuit of elusive scientific mystery

Georgia Institute Of Technology : 17 November, 2003  (New Product)
It is to be the first of two expeditions to the South Pole region that will provide data for the four-year, $1.8 million Antarctic Tropospheric Chemistry Investigation, a grant funded by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs.
Ten other institutions are involved in the project, including major involvement by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado plus contributions from researchers at the University of California, Irvine and NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, among others. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under primary sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.
A mystery in the skies above Antarctica and in the ice below its snow pack is the subject of a new scientific expedition being led this month by a team of investigators from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

It is to be the first of two expeditions to the South Pole region that will provide data for the four-year, $1.8 million Antarctic Tropospheric Chemistry Investigation, a grant funded by the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs.
Ten other institutions are involved in the project, including major involvement by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado plus contributions from researchers at the University of California, Irvine and NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, among others. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under primary sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.

This first ANTCI expedition runs Nov. 15 through Jan. 4, 2004. A second expedition is planned for 2005 or 2006. The 2003 expedition includes the participation of Jill Beach, a teacher from Rockdale County High School in Conyers, Ga., who will communicate what she does at the South Pole with her students via an interactive Web site.

'Antarctica is a land of mystery. But with these expeditions, we're going to be probing some fundamental questions posed by science about the region,' said Professor Emeritus Doug Davis, ANTCI's mission scientist and the project's co-principal investigator along with Principal Research Scientist Fred Eisele, both from Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

'In fact, we're rewriting the book on atmospheric chemistry in Antarctica,' Davis said. 'The data we're collecting down there is changing our whole view of what's happening in the atmosphere, and why.'

The broad goal of ANTCI is to gain a better understanding of the air above Antarctica. This includes measuring two major chemical families in the atmosphere and in the local environment, sulfur and nitrogen, and the oxidizing agents that affect their levels. Scientists also plan to measure the levels of several other trace gases that affect atmospheric chemistry.

Sulfur is of interest because it is a major component of the atmosphere above Antarctica, and it can be transferred from the air to the snow, where it eventually ends up in the ice. When it appears in ice-core samples going back thousands of years, it can be used to indicate major geophysical events from the past, such as volcanic eruptions, El Ninos and major climate changes.

But what has been puzzling about this data is that it shows much higher levels of sulfur in the atmosphere over the polar plateau than scientists have been able to explain, Davis said.

Similarly, both recent and earlier studies of the air, snow pack, and ice cores show large fluctuations in levels of reactive nitrogen at the South Pole. Atmospheric nitric oxide, normally considered a pollutant in most regions of the world, appears to have a natural source at the South Pole and its levels are higher by nearly a factor of 10 than they are at all other polar sites.

This finding continues to be one of the most baffling made by the earlier studies conducted by Georgia Tech researchers, Davis said, and the unexpected findings are what led scientists to propose the ANTCI project.
Bookmark and Share
 
Home I Editor's Blog I News by Zone I News by Date I News by Category I Special Reports I Directory I Events I Advertise I Submit Your News I About Us I Guides
 
   © 2012 NewMaterials.com
Netgains Logo