Dr. Ralf M. Staebler

Atmospheric Physics & Chemistry, researcher in Air Quality Research Branch of Environment Canada.

Dr. Ralf Staebler is a Research Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.  He works on studies of turbulent transport and mixing of trace gases and pollutants in the atmospheric boundary layer, in a variety of environments, including the stable surface layer in the Arctic.  He has been working on studies of emissions of pollutants, including greenhouse gases from the Alberta Oil Sands Region, and studies how forests interact with the atmosphere to affect the carbon cycle, and how they absorb or emit a variety of pollutants.

Interviews

2009

Dr. Ralf M. Staebler is a research scientist at Environment Canada in Toronto, specializing in the atmosphere of the Arctic. His work focuses on studying ozone depletion and turbulence in the atmosphere, particularly in cold Arctic conditions. Dr. Staebler is interested in understanding how gasses and pollutants move and mix in the Arctic atmosphere. He utilizes instruments such as Sonic anemometers on the Environment Canada Micro Med Tower to measure turbulence. He also employs a Sonic SODAR device to measure wind speeds and directions at various altitudes. These measurements help to determine the depth of ozone depletion and the stability of the atmosphere. Additionally, Dr. Staebler monitors temperature, snow depth, and other meteorological parameters to gather comprehensive data on the Arctic environment. Despite challenges such as obstructions and human activity in the vicinity, Dr. Staebler’s research contributes to a better understanding of the unique atmospheric processes occurring in the Arctic region. Sometimes polar bears inspect his machines!

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Dr. Ralf M. Staebler is conducting three experiments in the Arctic Ocean. The first experiment measures ozone levels five times per second to understand ozone exchange between the atmosphere and snow surface. The second experiment uses a SODAR device to analyze Doppler shifts and determine wind speeds all the way up to 3000 feet. The third experiment focuses on studying turbulence in the lower atmosphere. These experiments aim to improve understanding of ozone depletion, wind patterns, and atmospheric turbulence in the Arctic region.

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Dr. Ralf M. Staebler explains the SODAR, a device that measures wind speeds and directions in the atmosphere. By emitting sound pulses and analyzing the frequency shifts of echoes, it calculates the wind conditions up to a kilometer above the ground. The SODAR also provides insights into the stability of the atmosphere and helps determine the depth of ozone depletion. Dr. Staebler highlights the portability and advancements of modern SODAR technology. He shares a story about a polar bear visit to their research site, which resulted in minor damage to the instruments. Overall, the conversation showcases the importance of SODAR in atmospheric research.

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Dr. Alexandra “Sandy” Steffen and Dr. Ralf Staebler, conducting experiments around Utqiaġvik, Alaska, discuss the challenges of working in such extreme conditions and how they have to adapt their equipment to withstand the harsh environment. Although they must plan carefully to make the most of their time here, they both agree that working in the Arctic is a valuable learning experience.

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