POM-02 for the Chinese University of Hong Kong

POM-02 for the Chinese University of Hong Kongarticle picture
Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012 The effects of ground-level anthropogenic aerosols on the environment and human health are relatively well established, but there are large uncertainties in the impacts of atmospheric aerosols on weather and climate systems. The effects of aerosols have not been fully incorporated into models for the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report, the Fourth Assessment, published in 2007. Much more investigation needs to be carried out for the Fifth Assessment, due in 2014.

A leading research centre is the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), which also houses the Institute of Space and Earth Information Science (ISEIS). Professor Long Chiu of ISEIS has been involved with the joint NASA/JAXA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and his research interests include microwave remote sensing, global and regional hydrology, air-sea interactions and climate change. His department has recently acquired from Kipp & Zonen a POM-02 sky radiometer that will be installed at the newly constructed Fok Ying Tung Remote Sensing Science Center building.

One of the objectives is to study stratospheric aerosols. Primarily, this refers to water vapour and suspended particles, mainly smoke, dust, sand and ash. These may be generated by human activity; for example industry and the deliberate burning of forests, or by natural events; such as volcanoes and desert sand storms. The aerosols absorb and scatter solar radiation and promote atmospheric chemical reactions. They also act as nuclei for the formation of clouds, rain and other precipitation.

The POM-02 will complement other meteorological and environmental instruments to investigate the interactions between aerosols, clouds and precipitation and to calibrate satellite algorithms for aerosol measurements. The target is to improve the understanding of the role of aerosols in regional and global climate change and phenomena such as ‘global dimming’.

A&P Instrument Co. Ltd. has been the Kipp & Zonen distributor in Hong Kong for more than 10 years. They suggested the POM to Professor Chiu and the POM-02 model was chosen, because it offers more wavelengths than the POM-01, extending into the near infrared. A&P also carried out the installation and commissioning at ISEIS, where a test run of the POM-02 showed very good results. As soon as the new building construction is finished, the POM-02 will move to its permanent location at the Fok Ying Tung Remote Sensing Science Center.

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