The outcomes of SNOW WEB are to develop networked technologies which contribute to improved climate and environmental monitoring in the Ross Sea Region.
We want to demonstrate both the scientific and observational benefits derived from an advanced distributed network in understanding the spatial variability of climate parameters.
The production of a definitive data set which characterises ... Antarctic climate is a key research priority globally. However, the current datasets have a number of issues (discussed below) and thus reconstruction schemes are required. These temperature reconstruction schemes ‘data mine’ modern data sources for spatial patterns and interpolate backwards in time. These schemes can use the strengths of satellite (spatial detail) and weather station data (robust quality control and length of record) to produce a high‐resolution historical record. We aim to develop a system that contributes to producing better quality reconstructions and solving some of the issues of existing datasets.
The two primary sources of instrumental Antarctic surface atmospheric data are:
• Manned and Automated Weather stations
• Satellite data
Two problems exist with Automated Weather Station (AWS) data. First, the remoteness of many locations in Antarctica means that the distribution of weather stations is heavily biased towards the coast and the position of AWS sites is based on historical details and there are therefore significant spatial sampling issues with this data. The second issue is that the severity of Antarctica weather means that these systems must be very robust to survive the winter. By developing, deploying and analysing data from a spatially distributed wireless network of atmospheric sensors (SNOW WEB) we aim to develop a ‘Proof of Concept’ platform which could mitigate these issues at low cost. Over the 2011 calendar year, we optimized and expanded the ability of the wireless environmental sensor network previously deployed in January 2011.
We then field tested, 10 primary nodes and 9 secondary nodes which were deployed in the region bounded by Scott Base, Windless Bight and Room With a View, Ross Island.