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Trollhaugen: NILU’s Observatory in Antarctica

Foto: Are Bäcklund, NILU

Feeling cold? In Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, the temperature is currently between minus 27 and minus 33 degrees Celsius.

Fortunately, it was a bit warmer a few weeks ago, with temperatures hovering between minus 7 and minus 12 degrees Celsius.

– As long as there was no wind, it was actually quite pleasant, says senior scientist Chris Lunder. He and senior engineer Are Bäcklund have recently returned from a 6 week stay in Antarctica, more specifically at the Trollhaugen Observatory near the Norwegian Troll station in Queen Maud Land. The observatory is located at 72°00’42″S 02°32’06″E and 1553 meters above sea level, between the Antarctic plateau and the coast.

NILU has had the observatory in Antarctica since January 2007. In 2014, it was moved to “Trollhaugen” to avoid local influence. The view from above is, as you can see in the video, quite formidable!

The rooftop installations are different measuring instruments and monitoring inlets. At Trollhaugen, NILU measures e.g. mercury, total and ground-level ozone, aerosols, UV radiation, persistent organic pollutants (POPs), hydrocarbons and CO. In addition, we measure more than 30 greenhouse gases including halogen-containing greenhouse gases, methane and CO2. As one of the very few research institutions in the world, NILU does atmospheric research at both poles, and thus we can compare measurement results from the two “extremes”.

Read more about the Trollhaugen Observatory here