PROMICE weather data now fully transparent

The Programme for Monitoring the Greenland Ice Sheet has published a full description of calculations, code and models behind the automatic weather stations located in the ice sheet making it easier for researchers all over to incorporate the information.

A PROMICE automatic weather station (UPE_U) photographed on 4 August 2018. The numbers shown in the figure denote the following: 1 – radiometer; 2 – inclinometer; 3 – satellite antenna; 4 – anemometer; 5 – sonic rangers; 6 – hygro-/thermometer (aspirated); 7 – pressure transducer; 8 – solar panel; 9 – data logger, multiplexer, barometer, satellite modem, and GPS antenna; 10 – battery box; 11 – thermistor string (eight levels)

When doing research in glaciology, climatology, oceanography and so on it’s crucial to obtain the best possible information to base your calculations on. For years the Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) has made these data widely available regarding the ice sheet dynamics and mass balance. Many of which is based on meta data from an array of automatic weather stations placed around the ice sheet. Now, the PROMICE team have published all the calculations and assumptions behind the data from these weather stations as well. Making the data services derived from them fully transparent for other scientists.

”This has taken a lot of work to do, but now we have written a guide to how all these data services are done so that, in principle, everybody could replicate them. Which hopefully makes it easier for other scientists to incorporate our data,” says Robert S. Fausto who is chief scientist of PROMICE.

Basically, up until now you’ve been able to order the food on the menu, but now you get full access to all the recipes so you can make the dishes at home as well.

Important milestone

The data services derived from the weather stations include everything from temperature or humidity on the ice sheet measured every ten minutes to snow fall, ablation, short and long wave radiation and much more. All the stuff you need to do research in the above mentioned fields. Amongst others.

According to the chief scientist, it’s taken over a decade to get all the different equipment and models up and running to a point where it’s bug free and more or less automated.

“So this is a very important milestone for PROMICE,” Robert S. Fausto says.

Read the paper

The data description paper ‘Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet (PROMICE) automatic weather station data’ is published in the journal Earth System Science Data.

Find it here

Get the data

All data from PROMICE can be accessed here.

Further information

Senior Researcher, Robert Schjøtt Fausto
Glaciology and Climate
Email: rsf@geus.dk
Tel.: +45 91333838

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