Frank Flocke Inside the Modules with his Instruments

Video Shot in: 2009

In two videos on the Arcticstories website, atmospheric chemist Dr. Frank Flocke describes some of the key atmospheric measurements conducted during the BARROW2009 experiment as part of the OASIS (Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snowpack) program. Frank is a “Scientist III” at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. He obtained his Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry at Forschungszentrum (KFA) Julich, Germany and the University of Wuppertal, in Germany. He is an expert on nitrogen species, and ozone, in the atmosphere. Here Frank describes the OASIS “modules,” which are small research buildings built specifically for the OASIS campaign in Barrow (now called Utqiaġvik), 2009. From these buildings, a wide array of measurements are made, of organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, small molecules containing chlorine and bromine, an array of highly reactive small molecules called “free radicals”, and ozone. The objective of OASIS is to understand chemical processes initiated by the action of sunlight and other constituents of the atmosphere on sea-salt, the subsequent release of reactive halogen species from the sea salt, followed by a complex array of “free radical” reactions that destroy ozone and convert mercury into products that deposit to the surface. A particular interest of the OASIS team is how all this chemistry will change with climate change, and associated loss of sea ice, and what impact that will have on the composition of the atmosphere. Here Frank describes the set-up of the modules and what goes on inside!