Ozone, UV and Aerosol studies

PASPARTOUT - Pathways of particles, VOCs and moisture into East-Antarctica in a changing climate


PASPARTOUT is coordinated by the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium with partners Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Prof. Nicole van Lipzig)), Ghent University (research group EnVOC, Prof. Walgraeve) and the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB, G-Time Laboratory, Prof. Nadine Mattielli). PASPARTOUT is financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO).


PASPARTOUT is coordinated by Alexander Mangold of RMI


Roayl Meteorological Institute of Belgium

Ringlaan 3, Avenue Circulaire

BE-1180 Brussels, Belgium

phone: 0032-(0)2 23730 593

mailto: alexander.mangold  at  meteo.be


PASPARTOUT runs from 01 February 2023 to 01 May 2026

Context - Mission

The atmospheric circulation, water cycle and cloud-aerosol-interactions are recognized as key elements of the Antarctic climate system by several international consortia, such as the Joint Programming Initiative Connecting Climate Change Knowledge for Europe (JPI Climate) or the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Clouds and aerosols play a significant role in the radiative energy budget and aerosols impact cloud microphysics because they are cloud condensation and ice nuclei (CCN, INP). In addition, clouds are an important part of the hydrological cycle serving as the agent linking water vapour transport into Antarctica with precipitation. Further, Antarctica is the most pristine region on Earth thanks to its remoteness and the near-absence of local human activities. Nevertheless, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and inorganic compounds can reach the Antarctic continent via long-range atmospheric transport, and finally get deposited there. VOCs undergo atmospheric degradation during long range atmospheric transport and intermediate degradation products might play a role in the formation of CCN.

However, current knowledge on the interaction between clouds, atmospheric particles, and VOCs, as well as on the atmospheric transport and transformation pathways of atmospheric compounds in Antarctica is still limited, both from direct observations and from climate models. This is unfortunate, as Antarctica is not only a key region for the evolution of the future global climate, but also very sensitive to a changing climate. The main objective of PASPARTOUT is, (i) establishing an in-depth understanding of the links between atmospheric circulation patterns, weather regimes, particles, VOCs and moisture, (ii) determining the source regions and origin (natural, anthropogenic) of organic and inorganic compounds, and (iii) investigating implications and changes within a changing global climate.

The objectives of PASPARTOUT are:

  • PASPARTOUT will establish an in-depth understanding of the links between atmospheric circulation patterns, weather regimes, particles, VOCs and moisture;
  • PASPARTOUT will characterise VOCs and partially oxidised VOCs in an unprecedented way and improve the understanding of their degradation pathways and seasonal patterns;
  • PASPARTOUT will characterise the seasonal patterns of metals and rare earth elements, and Pb, Sr and Nd isotopes;
  • Understanding the seasonal variability in the sources of nitrate in Antarctica through the measurement of nitrate isotopes
  • PASPARTOUT will determine the source regions atmospheric transport pathways of organic and inorganic compounds;
  • PASPARTOUT will investigate implications and changes to the before-mentioned points within a changing global climate

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