The Weybourne Atmospheric Observatory (WAO) is a Regional station in the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) programme of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It is situated on the North Norfolk coast (52°57’02’’N, 1°07’19’’E, 15 m asl).
The dataset collection contains meteorological data such as wind speed, wind direction, humidity, atmospheric pressure, solar irradiance and net irradiance, SoDAR wind profiler data, sonic anemometer data, and Chemistry data such as ozone, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen gas chromatograms for measurements of VOC's and GHG's (Volatile Organic Compounds / Green-House Gases, respectively. In addition, cloud condensation nuclei measurements are available.
Over the years the parameters measured at Weybourne have varied according to the funding and/or scientific interests and requirements. There have been continuous measurements of ozone, as part of the Defra network, and basic meteorological parameters. There are many years of CO, NOx, NOy, SO2, CN, VOC and H2 data. In 2007 a long term monitoring programme for CO2 and O2 began. In 2012 a new greenhouse gas GC was set up and measurements of CH4 started. This has been developed to also include measurements of N2O and SF6. In 2017 a state-of-the-art Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTRI) was added to Weybourne to give very high precision measurements of additional CO2, CH4, N2O and CO.
Through the introduction of the FTIR to Weybourne in 2017, the site now forms part of the UK’s commitment to the EU funded Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS). This is a pan-European Research Infrastructure that provides very high quality, harmonised data on the cycles of carbon and other greenhouse gases. Through ICOS Weybourne has been at the forefront of instrument testing and has been fundamental in getting the FTIR instrument approved on the network.
As well as being the only UK atmospheric station within the ICOS network and part of the Defra ozone network (AURN), Weybourne has been / is part of the Defra TOMPS network (atmospheric toxic organic samplers), a Defra CH4 network, the EU InGOS network (Integrated non-CO2 Greenhouse gas Observing System) and is now contributing measurements to the NERC funded MOYA and DARE-UK projects.
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