Research project

High resolution temperature measurements: investigations of ocean-atmosphere turbulent exchange in the course of EUREC4A-ATOMIC campaign.

Project leader:
prof. dr hab. Szymon P. Malinowski
Funding institution:
Narodowe Centrum Nauki, HARMONIA
Realization period:
April 17, 2019 - April 16, 2023
prof. dr hab. Szymon P. Malinowski Project leader
dr Dariusz Baranowski Principal investigator
mgr Robert Grosz Investigator
mgr inż. Stanisław Król Investigator
dr inż. Wojciech Kumala Investigator
dr hab. Krzysztof Markowicz Co-investigator
dr Jakub Nowak Investigator


mgr Michał Brennek - uczestnik
dr Michał Posyniak - uczestnik
mgr Wojciech Szkółka - uczestnik
dr Michał Chiliński - uczestnik

EUREC4A /ATOMIC is a European-American (EU-US) research project, part of which is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in partnership with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). It aims to fill gaps in our knowledge of convective clouds and their role in the climate system. Uncertainties related to the possible behaviour of clouds in the future climate are one of the greatest uncertainties in climate projections. The project aims to better understand the organisation and development of clouds, in particular the role of the ocean surface processes governing convection in the atmosphere.

Within the framework ofthis project a Polish partner - a team from the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Warsaw and the Institute of Geophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences will join  the international group of researchers participating in EUREC4A/ATOMIC. The measurements conducted by our team in synergy with other research groups will enrich the knowledge about the atmosphere-ocean interactions, in particular about the heat fluxes that drive convection processes.

This task requires detailed information on the transport processes (turbulence) on both sides of the ocean surface. While many of the groups involved in the project will be conducting measurements over large areas but with moderate spatial resolution, high-resolution measurements are under-represented in the project. Our contribution EUREC4A/ATOMIC will be to conduct measurements in a limited area, but with very high spatial and temporal resolution to better understand the mechanisms of turbulence transport at the ocean-atmosphere boundary as well as cloud mixing processes.

Figure 1: Left panel: large scale measurement schematic for the EUREC4A campaign. Right panel: high-resolution measurement scheme for the VHIRES TUREX project. The measuring vessel will be located within the large scale measurement area.

In particular, we plan to use ultra-fast UFT family thermometers (developed at the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Warsaw) on a British research aircraft operating from the island of Barbados and on a German tethered balloon released from a METEOR research vessel. Measurements of temperature fluctuations with centimetre resolution will help to better understand the processes of cloud formation, evolution and disappearance.

We also plan to use a small four-rotor drone, remotely controlled from the ship's deck, to measure temperature and humidity profiles in the atmosphere, as well as water surface temperature and even temperature profiles in a five-metre layer just below the ocean surface. The latter measurement will be made with a small thermometer suspended under a drone on a thin line.

In addition, using miniature optical particle counters we will conduct measurements of atmospheric aerosol - condensation nuclei necessary to create clouds. We will also support other research groups in ocean profiling, data analysis, joint detailed planning of each day of the campaign. As a result, all our measurements will be coordinated with hundreds of other measurements conducted by over 70 research groups participating in the EUREC4A/ATOMIC campaign.