This season, two researchers from the Swedish Institute of Space Physics in Kiruna continued to make measurements with and maintain the radar equipment. They also released weather balloons and conducted tests using a time-lapse camera in conjunction with the radar. The previous year, the researchers discovered that the birds in the area were causing disturbances in the radar signals, and they are able to study the birds’ movement patterns by comparing these disturbances with images from the camera.

The purpose of MARA is to study how air is transported and mixed between different altitudes in the polar atmosphere. The project focuses on three phenomena:

  • how ice clouds, which are formed at an altitude of 100 km above the poles, are affected by anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and methane at the earth’s surface
  • how ozone-rich air from the polar stratosphere mixes with the air nearer the ground
  • how air from the ocean surface around Antarctica is lifted up and dispersed over large areas

Principal investigator

Sheila Kirkwood
Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna