- Number 373 |
- October 8, 2012
Yearlong MAGIC climate study launches
A Horizon Lines container ship outfitted with meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by DOE scientists from Argonne and Brookhaven national laboratories has begun taking data for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models. The study, a collaborative effort between DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program Climate Research Facility and Horizon Lines, marks the first official marine deployment of the second ARM Mobile Facility, AMF2, and is likely the most elaborate climate study ever mounted aboard a commercial vessel. The study—dubbed MAGIC, for the Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds, where GPCI is a project comparing results from the major climate models—will take place through September 2013.
The Horizon Spirit makes a roundtrip journey from Los Angeles to Honolulu every two weeks, which allows for repeated measurements over the same transect at different seasons.
“Collecting data on a wide range of atmospheric conditions over an entire year, including the transitions among cloud types along this particular route, will give us a large amount of data to help refine and validate models of Earth’s climate,” said lead investigator Ernie Lewis, an atmospheric scientist at Brookhaven. “We are very grateful to Horizon Lines for giving us the opportunity to install our research equipment aboard the Horizon Spirit.”
The launch of the data-taking part of the study “represents the culmination of four years of hard work in designing, building, and preparing to deploy aboard an ocean going vessel,” said AMF2 Technical Operations Manager Michael Ritsche, an atmospheric scientist at Argonne.
The science team—which includes researchers from DOE’s Lawrence Livermore Lab in addition to Brookhaven, as well as collaborators from NASA, Stony Brook University, and a range of other universities and private consultants—is anxiously anticipating the data that will arise from this endeavor.
[Karen McNulty Walsh, 631.344.8350,