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K. Stamnes, R. G. Ellingson, J. A. Curry, J. E. Walsh, and B. D. Zak

Abstract

Recent climate modeling results point to the Arctic as a region that is particularly sensitive to global climate change. The Arctic warming predicted by the models to result from the expected doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is two to three times the predicted mean global warming, and considerably greater than the warming predicted for the Antarctic. The North Slope of Alaska–Adjacent Arctic Ocean (NSA–AAO) Cloud and Radiation Testbed (CART) site of the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is designed to collect data on temperature-ice-albedo and water vapor–cloud–radiation feedbacks, which are believed to be important to the predicted enhanced warming in the Arctic. The most important scientific issues of Arctic, as well as global, significance to be addressed at the NSA–AAO CART site are discussed, and a brief overview of the current approach toward, and status of, site development is provided. ARM radiometric and remote sensing instrumentation is already deployed and taking data in the perennial Arctic ice pack as part of the SHEBA (Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean) experiment. In parallel with ARM’s participation in SHEBA, the NSA–AAO facility near Barrow was formally dedicated on 1 July 1997 and began routine data collection early in 1998. This schedule permits the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARM Program, NASA’s Arctic Cloud program, and the SHEBA program (funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research) to be mutually supportive. In addition, location of the NSA–AAO Barrow facility on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration land immediately adjacent to its Climate Monitoring and Diagnostic Laboratory Barrow Observatory includes NOAA in this major interagency Arctic collaboration.

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