Point Reyes National Seashore is Site for National Climate Research Project

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: April 28, 2005
Contact: Dr. Ben Becker, 415-464-5247
Contact: Dr. Sarah Allen, 415-464-5187

Between March and September 2005, marine stratus clouds and coastal drizzle are the subject of a national climate research project at Point Reyes National Seashore in western Marin County, California. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program are conducting the research and have chosen Point Reyes because it is known for its marine location and tremendous stratus development.

Marine stratus clouds are some of the most prevalent clouds on earth. They exert a large-scale cooling effect on the ocean surface, representing an important component of the earth’s total energy budget. Marine stratus clouds are known to be susceptible to the aerosol byproducts of fossil fuel consumption, but a thorough understanding of the cloud processes leading to this susceptibility requires that they be observed in a range of aerosol conditions. Despite their known importance to the earth-ocean-atmosphere system, relatively few detailed and comprehensive data sets of marine stratus clouds are available. This work will help to understand impacts of fossil fuel consumption on cloud cover and climatic change.

During the 6-month deployment, the ARM Mobile Facility will use state-of-the-art active and passive remote sensors to measure the detailed microphysical structure of drizzle patches and the associated clouds as they move onshore. This includes daily releases of weather balloons to record atmospheric data at various altitudes. The work is based in the north district of Point Reyes National Seashore.

Point Reyes National Seashore was chosen for this work because of its support for scientific research endeavors. Other regions where ARM facilities collect atmospheric data include the Great Plains Region of the United States, the North Slope of Alaska, and the Tropical Western Pacific. The ARM Program greatly appreciates the cooperation of the National Park Service during this field campaign.

For Additional Information Contact:

Lynne Roeder
Public Information officer, ARM Program
509-372-4331
email

-NPS-

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Phone:

(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

Contact Us