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The CSIRO-BoM-AAD Antarctic and Southern Ocean atmospheric monitoring network

The CSIRO-BoM-AAD Antarctic and Southern Ocean atmospheric monitoring network
Marcel van der Schoot


Marcel van der Schoot, Ann Stavert and David Etheridge
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research Aspendale, Victoria, Australia


Gases released by human activity (greenhouse and ozone depleting gases) are responsible for global change. They are long-lived and well-mixed in the atmosphere. The Antarctic regions, remote from industrial and land plant activity are ideally located to measure global changes in the gases. The CSIRO sampling network, in conjunction with the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Antarctic Division, represents the most comprehensive, long-running Southern Hemisphere program. With continuing innovation in measurement and interpretive models, it has been used to detect regional changes in carbon uptake, and together with other measurement sites monitor global changes in emissions and uptake of several gases.

Measurements of CO2, methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and the stable isotopes of CO2 have been made in fortnightly flask air samples since the early 1990s, at CSIRO. Measurements of carbon 14 in CO2, oxygen concentrations, and radon concentrations have been made by our collaborators. The measurements have been used to detect variations and trends in the gases, and relate them to natural and anthropogenic emissions and natural sinks. Recent developments include the installation of a new breed of continuous in situ analysers for a growing number of these species, which provides improved frequency and precision of measurements as well as several operational advantages.

These data continue to be used, along with measurements from other baseline sites across the globe, in inverse studies that derive regional sources and sinks and their trends. From this, the processes behind variations in gas emissions and uptake can be better understood so that future model predictions of greenhouse gas levels and their climate impact can be improved.

Latest news

  • Conference prize winners
    27 Jun 2013

    The Strategic Science in Antarctica conference concluded yesterday and two days of workshops have commenced. Congratulations to those who were awarded prizes for their contributions to the conference.

  • Watch the welcome message from Australia's Environment Minister
    24 Jun 2013

    In a welcome message via video from Canberra, Australia’s Environment Minister, Tony Burke, reflected on the foresight of earlier decision-makers who agreed to set aside an entire continent for scientific research.

  • Last minute information for attendees
    20 Jun 2013

    There's not too long to wait until the start of the Strategic Science in Antarctica conference, and we hope you’re as excited as we are! Read on for more information about the final program, registration, Twitter, presenters, posters and social functions.

More news…

Key dates

  • 11th June 2013
    Registrations close
  • 21st June 2013
    Registrations at the AAD open for staff
  • 24th June 2013
    Registrations at the venue open
  • 24th June 2013
    Conference commences
  • 26th June 2013
    Conference concludes

More key dates…

This page was last modified on 30 August 2013.