Environmental Science Division (EVS) a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

Yearlong MAGIC climate study launches

October 1, 2012

A Horizon Lines container ship outfitted with meteorological and atmospheric instruments installed by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory will begin taking data today for a yearlong mission aimed at improving the representation of clouds in climate models. The study, a collaborative effort between DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program Climate Research Facility and Horizon Lines, marks the first official marine deployment of the second ARM Mobile Facility, AMF2, and is likely the most elaborate climate study ever mounted aboard a commercial vessel.

The project – dubbed MAGIC, for the Marine ARM GPCI Investigation of Clouds, where GPCI is a project comparing results from the major climate models – will take place through September 2013.

A group from Argonne in charge of the deployment has spent the past nine months preparing the instruments and optimizing their performance for shipboard data collection. Many instruments, including an aerosol observing system developed by Brookhaven scientists, are housed in three modified 20-foot SeaTainer cargo containers designed for mobile deployment. Other instruments include radars that are mounted to tables designed to maintain stable “vision” despite the inherent rolling of the ship's deck as it plies the waves. All of these instruments were installed aboard the Horizon Spirit while it was in port in Los Angeles in September, with final preparations made while en route to Hawaii and back.

The science team includes researchers from DOE's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in addition to Brookhaven, as well as collaborators from NASA, Stony Brook University, and a range of other universities and private consultants.

For more more news about the MAGIC study see Yearlong climate study launches.

One of the Department of Energy's mobile climate testing facilities has launched aboard the cargo container ship Horizon Spirit as it traverses the Pacific Ocean. During a test run in February 2012, scientists launched a type of sensor called a radiosonde from different locations on the ship to determine the best location to accomplish the launch.
One of the Department of Energy's mobile climate testing facilities has launched aboard the cargo container ship Horizon Spirit as it traverses the Pacific Ocean. During a test run in February 2012, scientists launched a type of sensor called a radiosonde from different locations on the ship to determine the best location to accomplish the launch. [Source: ARM Climate Research Facility]
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