Measuring Arctic Ozone with a Differential Absorption Lidar

Author: Ghazal Farhani, PhD Student at The University of Western Ontario Ozone is a minor constituent of the atmosphere, but it plays an important role by absorbing harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the Sun. The bulk of this protective ozone resides in the stratosphere at an altitude range between 15 and 50 km. A small amount resides near the surface, but it is a pollutant. Significant chemical depletion of the total ozone during late…

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Is there an Arctic ozone hole?

By Kristof Bognar PhD Candidate, U. of Toronto When scientists speak of the ‘ozone hole’, they usually mean the large region of low stratospheric ozone concentration that develops above Antarctica each Southern Hemisphere spring (August–October). These occur because conditions over Antarctica are favorable for ozone destruction. Strong westerly winds, or jet streams, above the Southern Ocean circle the continent creating a persistent polar vortex that isolates the air above Antarctica (a twin to the Arctic…

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Eureka’s dramatically changing sunlight

By Dan Weaver Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto You have likely noticed the days are getting longer.­1 It’s a welcome relief from the short dark days of winter. Toronto, for example, will enjoy over 12 hours of sunlight on April 20. Two months earlier, on January 20, there was only 9.5 hours of sunlight. The seasonal change in sunlight hours is small near the equator, and larger as latitude increases. In the high Arctic, where…

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Why do scientists travel to Eureka during polar sunrise?

By Debora Griffin PhD candidate, Department of Physics, University of Toronto Every year at the end of February a group of scientists travels to Eureka, Nunavut, 80°N. On February 21st, when the Canadian Arctic ACE/OSIRIS validation campaign typically starts, the sun rises in Eureka above the horizon for the first time since November 20th. Every day, daylight hours increase at a rate between 20 min and 1 h per day, until the sun no longer…

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Here Comes the Sun!

Mike Maurice PEARL Operator My current tour in Eureka operating the PEARL facilities started during Polar Night. Shortly after New Years Day I arrived at Eureka, excited to be back at work. I enjoy the Arctic at all times of the year, so the fact that I was returning in the dead of winter didn’t bother me. January 28th, 2015 12:38 pm –  Cape Hare is beautifully silhouetted against the first rays of Polar Twilight.…

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PEARL at Polar Twilight

A full moon shines brightly at the PEARL Ridge lab while the Weather Station lights twinkle in the distance. CREATE AAS Post-doc, Sophie Tran, took this shot last November during Polar Twilight – a few weeks before full Polar Night set in and she went home. However, now that Polar Night is ending and sunlight is beginning to return to Eureka, the CREATE AAS students and researchers will be flocking to PEARL in the coming…

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Detection of Biomass Burning Pollution in the Arctic

Erik Lutsch PhD. Student, University of Toronto Biomass burning is the burning of vegetation and occurs in North America and Europe mostly in the form of wildfires. Every year, hundreds of forest fires burn throughout the northern hemisphere burning thousands of hectares of vegetation. The burning of vegetation emits a substantial amount of aerosols and various trace gas pollutants. Trace gases may have a considerable effect on climate. The emission of trace gases changes the…

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An Interview with David Serkoak Part 2: Inuit and Researchers working together to help further Arctic Science

Shannon Hicks and Dan Weaver The Arctic and the Inuit have both been changed by events occurring over the last century.  The Inuit have been uprooted, relocated, and their culture forever altered. The Arctic ecosystem and environment is rapidly shifting due to climate change. The second section of our interview with David Serkoak discusses how these developments in the Arctic are impacting the Inuit, and how scientists from many nations can become involved with the…

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An Interview with David Serkoak Part 1: Inuit Drum Dancing and Culture

Shannon Hicks and Dan Weaver The Connaught Summer Institute in Arctic Science was privileged to host David Serkoak, who spoke with students about Inuit culture and traditions. David is a respected Inuit elder and has been an integral part of reviving Inuit language (Inuktitut) and culture in Arctic schools.  Over the course of the summer school we learned about his trials during the Inuit relocation period, the history of Nunavut’s founding, and various aspects of…

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A Spontaneous Solar Eclipse Viewing

Last Thursday, there was a partial solar eclipse! Part of the eclipse was visible from London, Ontario, where some of the CREATE trainees attend Western University. We all had busy days, so didn’t plan in advance to view the eclipse. No big events, no great preparation. A closer view of the partial solar eclipse as seen from Santa Cruz, California. Those sunspots are visible in our projection! Surprisingly, several of the students ended up finishing…

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