Atmospheric Feedback Loops
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ATMOSPHERIC FEEDBACK LOOPS BY SUSAN SCHUPPLI
In a rural landscape approximately an hour due south of Amsterdam, an open-air laboratory is tuning to the atmospheric frequencies of nature, separating the signal of climate change from the noise of cyclical variability. Since 1970 the Cabauw Experimental Site for Atmospheric Research has been measuring and monitoring the changes taking place in the feedback loops between land surface processes and the airborne dynamics of our planet, studying the ways in which the complex behaviour of clouds, aerosols, radiation, precipitation and turbulence interact with terrestrial events. Using instruments that sample the wind and take temperature soundings, devices that scan the bandwidths of storms and track wavelengths as they move through different atmospheric densities, sensors that detect the infrasound of geological events and tools that scatter the particulate matter of air, the scientists working here are producing an extraordinarily comprehensive and evolving dataset – a natural media archive – that feeds Dutch light and sound back into the global climate model.