The Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition: First results from studying preindustrial aerosol characteristics

  • Date: Tuesday 21 November 2017
  • Time: 14.00 - 15.00
  • Location: School of Earth and Environment seminar rooms 8.119
  • Presenter: Julia Yvonne Schmale, Paul Scherrer Institut
  • Event: ICAS External Seminar


Aerosol-cloud interactions (ACI) are the least understood anthropogenic influence on climate change. A major cause of this limited understanding is the poorly characterized state of aerosol in the preindustrial atmosphere. This state defines the baseline against which anthropogenic effects are quantified. At present, the uncertainty in aerosol-induced radiative forcing is twice the uncertainty of CO2 radiative forcing. One way of constraining the ACI uncertainty is to conduct measurements in environments that exhibit aerosol characteristics similar to preindustrial times. One of the most suited areas on the planet is the Southern Ocean. In this presentation, I will give an overview of the international Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition that took place between December 2016 and March 2017, and show first results of on-board measurements from our project “Study of Preindustrial-like-Aerosol Climate Effects”.


Julia studied environmental engineering at the University of Leoben, Austria. Her dissertation at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany, focused on aerosol chemical composition in the free troposphere and long-range pollution transport to the Arctic. Since then Julia’s research has focused on exploring aerosol properties in extreme environments including the Arctic, Sub-Antarctica and high mountain Asia. She was a visiting scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh, and worked for 2.5 years at the science-policy interface at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, Germany. Currently, Julia is a scientist in the Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland, where she works on aerosol-cloud interactions. Being interested in polar regions, she represents Switzerland in the International Arctic Science Committee and is a member of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Expert Group on short-lived climate forcers.