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Juan Carlos Antuña Marrero, René Estevan Arredondo, and Boris Barja González

Optical properties of stratospheric aerosols and cirrus clouds and their radiative effects are currently important subjects of research worldwide. Those investigations are typical of developed countries, conducted by several highly specialized groups dedicated separately to instrumental observations, their interpretation in the context of the weather and climate, and the numerical simulation of their radiative effects. In Camagüey, Cuba, the Grupo de Óptica Atmosférica de Camagüey [Optics Atmospheric Group of Camagüey (GOAC)] has been conducting all those research projects together for a little more than 20 years, following a self-designed long-term strategy. The results of the strategy applied by GOAC demonstrates that, even in the conditions of an underdeveloped country, it is possible to build local scientific and technical capacities for conducting state-of-the-art research for the benefit of society, both locally and worldwide.

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Juan Carlos Antuña, Aramis Fonte, René Estevan, Boris Barja, Roberto Acea, and Juan Carlos Antuña Jr.
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Juan Carlos Antuña-Marrero, Eduardo Landulfo, René Estevan, Boris Barja, Alan Robock, Elián Wolfram, Pablo Ristori, Barclay Clemesha, Francesco Zaratti, Ricardo Forno, Errico Armandillo, Álvaro E. Bastidas, Ángel M. de Frutos Baraja, David N. Whiteman, Eduardo Quel, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Fabio Lopes, Elena Montilla-Rosero, and Juan L. Guerrero-Rascado

Abstract

Sustained and coordinated efforts of lidar teams in Latin America at the beginning of the twenty-first century have built the Latin American Lidar Network (LALINET), the only observational network in Latin America created by the agreement and commitment of Latin American scientists. They worked with limited funding but an abundance of enthusiasm and commitment toward their joint goal. Before LALINET, there were a few pioneering lidar stations operating in Latin America, described briefly here. Biannual Latin American lidar workshops, held from 2001 to the present, supported both the development of the regional lidar community and LALINET. At those meetings, lidar researchers from Latin America met to conduct regular scientific and technical exchanges among themselves and with experts from the rest of the world. Regional and international scientific cooperation has played an important role in the development of both the individual teams and the network. The current LALINET status and activities are described, emphasizing the processes of standardization of the measurements, methodologies, calibration protocols, and retrieval algorithms. Failures and successes achieved in the buildup of LALINET are presented. In addition, the first LALINET joint measurement campaign and a set of aerosol extinction profile measurements obtained from the aerosol plume produced by the Calbuco volcano eruption on 22 April 2015 are described and discussed.

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David H. Bromwich, Kirstin Werner, Barbara Casati, Jordan G. Powers, Irina V. Gorodetskaya, François Massonnet, Vito Vitale, Victoria J. Heinrich, Daniela Liggett, Stefanie Arndt, Boris Barja, Eric Bazile, Scott Carpentier, Jorge F. Carrasco, Taejin Choi, Yonghan Choi, Steven R. Colwell, Raul R. Cordero, Massimo Gervasi, Thomas Haiden, Naohiko Hirasawa, Jun Inoue, Thomas Jung, Heike Kalesse, Seong-Joong Kim, Matthew A. Lazzara, Kevin W. Manning, Kimberley Norris, Sang-Jong Park, Phillip Reid, Ignatius Rigor, Penny M. Rowe, Holger Schmithüsen, Patric Seifert, Qizhen Sun, Taneil Uttal, Mario Zannoni, and Xun Zou

Abstract

The Year of Polar Prediction in the Southern Hemisphere (YOPP-SH) had a special observing period (SOP) that ran from 16 November 2018 to 15 February 2019, a period chosen to span the austral warm season months of greatest operational activity in the Antarctic. Some 2,200 additional radiosondes were launched during the 3-month SOP, roughly doubling the routine program, and the network of drifting buoys in the Southern Ocean was enhanced. An evaluation of global model forecasts during the SOP and using its data has confirmed that extratropical Southern Hemisphere forecast skill lags behind that in the Northern Hemisphere with the contrast being greatest between the southern and northern polar regions. Reflecting the application of the SOP data, early results from observing system experiments show that the additional radiosondes yield the greatest forecast improvement for deep cyclones near the Antarctic coast. The SOP data have been applied to provide insights on an atmospheric river event during the YOPP-SH SOP that presented a challenging forecast and that impacted southern South America and the Antarctic Peninsula. YOPP-SH data have also been applied in determinations that seasonal predictions by coupled atmosphere–ocean–sea ice models struggle to capture the spatial and temporal characteristics of the Antarctic sea ice minimum. Education, outreach, and communication activities have supported the YOPP-SH SOP efforts. Based on the success of this Antarctic summer YOPP-SH SOP, a winter YOPP-SH SOP is being organized to support explorations of Antarctic atmospheric predictability in the austral cold season when the southern sea ice cover is rapidly expanding.

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