Welcome to CAST!

On this website we will be blogging our activities during our atmospheric measurement campaign in Guam during January/February 2014.  We will introduce the science behind the campaign and try to convey what goes on behind the scenes.  Expect posts from PIs, instrument scientists, aircraft crew, modellers, flight planners, PhD students and anyone else involved!

But before I start with all this, let me briefly introduce what we’re doing and why we’re going.  Guam is an extremely interesting area of atmospheric study due to its unique chemistry and dynamical processes.  It is an area of deep convective upwelling, transporting gases from the surface to the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UTLS).  This makes understanding the chemical and physical processes affecting the production, destruction and transport of trace gases (e.g. ozone, carbon monoxide and very short-lived halocarbons) particularly important in a region such as this. The CAST campaign is unique due to our research collaboration with the NASA Earth Venture ATTREX1 (Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment) and NCAR’s CONTRAST (CONvective TRansport of Active Species in the Tropics).  We will be focusing our efforts in measuring the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) to understand its chemical and physical properties and how it impacts the UTLS.  Convective transport of long and short-lived species (in particular the very short-lived halocarbon species) will be measured together with moist convective dynamic processes throughout the course of the campaign by three aircraft.  More information can be found on the ‘About’ and ‘PIs view’ page on this website.


Map showing the area where flights and measurements will be based.  Guam (red star), Palau and Chuuk (left and right blue star respectively).

During the course of our time, this blog will be updated by all of us involved.  We want to give you an impression of what it is like to take part in a campaign such as this and to let you experience the campaign with us.  We will take you through every process including planning, flight preparation, measurements and analysis.  Feature posts will appear from individuals speaking about their roles and experiences using written posts and videos, along with overview posts from the editors and PIs.

All of our efforts are in collaboration with NERC who are helping us on the ground in the UK.  For more information, have a browse through the pages and more importantly, stick around to hear our news from the Pacific!  We hope you enjoy following us for the next month and that you get a real taste of what it means to be involved in an atmospheric measurement campaign.  You can also keep updated with us on Twitter (@CAST_Guam) and Facebook (Coordinated Studies in the Tropics – CAST), so please find us and follow us!

The CAST Blog Crew


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