NAAMES (North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study): NAAMES-II Expedition: May 19, 2016May 20th, 2016 by Kristina Mojica
I’m part of the Russell research group, along with my colleagues Raghu Betha, Chia-li (Candice) Chen, and Maryam Lamjiri, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Our group focuses on aerosols, which are microscopic liquids and solids suspended in the air. Aerosols may be formed over the ocean when wave generated bubbles burst and eject particles into the atmosphere. Aerosols are important to climate as they act as seeds for cloud droplets. The ability of water to collect on aerosols is determined by their size and chemical composition. We have several instruments housed in our sampling van that we use to determine these properties. The aerosols are sampled through an inlet that reaches 50 ft above the ocean surface.
As our instruments sample aerosols continuously, we are able to sample beyond the designated stations of the project. We began measuring aerosols while at the Woods Hole dock, we have been measuring aerosols since we left port, and we will continue to measure aerosols until we return to port. To make sure everything is running smoothly, our group members take shifts to monitor the instruments.
An exciting aspect of this project is the collaboration with the NASA Langley Aerosol Research Group (LARGE) which provides the C-130 Hercules aircraft. The C-130 contains some of the same aerosol instruments that are in our sampling van. This allows us to compare our ship-based aerosol measurements with the C-130 aircraft measurements. We can also compare our aerosol measurements with the other aerosol groups onboard from PMEL, UC-Irvine, and Texas A&M.
Today there was a flyby of the NASA C-130 aircraft, which is always an exciting moment for us on the ship. Over a dozen scientists and crew gathered on the O3 deck to capture footage of the Hercules. The conditions were foggy this afternoon when the aircraft was scheduled to arrive. The C-130 was already upon us by the time we saw it. They circled the ship twice before disappearing into the mist.
We are now en route to station 2. Hopefully tonight the fog will clear and we can catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis!
Written by Derek Price