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Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory

capeverde siteObservatório Atmosferico de Cabo Verde: Humberto Duarte Fonseca*

The Cape Verde Atmospheric Observatory (CVAO) is part of a bilateral German-UK initiative to undertake long-term ground- and ocean-based observations in the tropical Eastern North Atlantic Ocean region. It links with the international programme SOLAS, the EU-funded TENATSO (Tropical Eastern North Atlantic Time-Series Observatory) project, and with the German SOPRAN (Surface Ocean Processes in the Anthropocene) project.

The CVAO (16° 51' 49 N, 24° 52' 02 W), exists to advance understanding of climatically-significant interactions between the atmosphere and ocean and to provide a regional focal point and long-term data context for field campaigns. Measurements of O3, CO, NO, NO2, NOy and VOCs began at the site in October 2006. Chemical characterisation of aerosol measurements and flask sampling of greenhouse gases began in November 2006, halocarbon measurements in May 2007, and physical measurements of aerosol in June 2008. On-line measurements of greenhouse gases began in October 2008.

The CVAO is a World Meteorological Organisation-Global Atmospheric Watch (WMO-GAW) global station and quality-assured atmospheric data for use by both UK and German scientists, and the wider international community are regularly deposited at both the WMO-GAW and British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC) data archives. The Universities of York, Bristol and Leeds provide the CVAO trace gas measurements, supported by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) through the National Centre for Atmospheric Science's (NCAS) Facility for Ground based Atmospheric Monitoring (FGAM). The Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie, Jena, Germany (MPIB Jena) make the greenhouse gas measurements, and the Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung, Leipzig, Germany (IfT) measure various characteristics of aerosol. Collaboration is also with the Instituto Nacional de Meteorologia e Geofísica, São Vicente (INMG), who provide logistical support and employ staff at the CVAO. The sister ocean site is a partnership of the Instituto Nacional de Desenvolvimento das Pescas, São Vicente (INDP), and the Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften, Kiel, Germany (IfM-GEOMAR Kiel). Scientific activities at both sites are coordinated in collaboration with the above institutions.

* Humberto Duarte Fonseca studied the climatology, meteorology, oceanography and ecology of the Cape Verde area and published numerous papers in the 1950s-1970s. He died in 1982. His work was primarily devoted to ameliorate the living conditions on Cape Verde (e.g. fisheries, production of wind energy).