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News Story - Halley VI receives environmental science status upgrade

Date: 07 May 2013

Photo
Barrel balloon over Halley VI (Photo: Mark Clilverd, BAS)

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has announced British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI research station has attained Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Global station status. This is in recognition of the breadth and quality of the atmospheric science data collected at Halley and its importance for setting baseline data against which global change can be assessed.

Named after the former British astronomer, Edmond Halley, Halley VI sits on the Brunt ice shelf. It became fully operational in February this year after the UK government invested in a 5 year building programme to replace the previous station, Halley V. Scientists have been taking atmospheric measurements at the site since 1956. It was work at Halley that led researchers to discover the hole in the ozone layer in 1984.

Halley VI becomes the 29th GAW Global Station in the world and the 3rd in Antarctica (the others being the South Pole {USA} and Neumayer {Germany}).

The application was considered by members of the WMO/GAW Joint Scientific Committee (JSC) of the Open Programme Area Group on Environmental Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry (OPAG-EPAC).

In a letter, Jerry Lengoasa, deputy secretary-general of the WMO, said:

“Taking into consideration the importance of the station for global observations in a climate sensitive zone (Antarctica) and the extended measurement programme, the JSC OPAG-EPAC noted that it is very grateful to the UK for having submitted this proposal and that it strongly supports its acceptance as a Global GAW station.”

Dr. Anna Jones, from British Antarctic Survey, said:

“It’s wonderful that Halley has been awarded this status, which recognises the quality of our measurements, the value of long-term observations in Antarctica, and our on-going commitment to work in this region.”

For more information please contact Paul Seagrove in the British Antarctic Survey press office on +44 (0)1223 221414

Notes for Editors

The Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme of WMO is a partnership involving 80 countries, which provides reliable scientific data and information on the chemical composition of the atmosphere, its natural and anthropogenic change, and helps to improve the understanding of interactions between the atmosphere, the oceans and the biosphere.