Field Studies in Cold & Dark Conditions (Bill Simpson)

Video Shot in: 2023

Bill Simpson discusses the extensive data analysis and research writing he plans to do, focusing on two major field studies: CHACHA on the North Slope and ALPACA in Fairbanks. He highlights the significant collaboration involved, with nearly 20 institutions, around four dozen people participating in the Fairbanks field study, and approximately 100 people involved in the analysis or fieldwork. The ALPACA study, aimed at understanding atmospheric chemistry under cold and dark conditions, had three main facets. One was indoor chemistry research, investigating pollution infiltration into homes from outdoor sources and emissions from indoor activities like cooking and heating. They discovered that while houses can reduce outdoor pollution levels, indoor activities can significantly contribute to indoor air pollution. The study also revealed limitations of popular but not scientifically precise instruments like the Purple Air sensors, which inaccurately measured fine particle concentrations due to their design limitations. Simpson’s reflections demonstrate the complexity and importance of understanding environmental chemistry in Arctic conditions and the challenges of accurately measuring and interpreting data in this unique context.