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 Post subject: OAA Center Leads International Research Study Aboard Ronald
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 5:49 pm 

OAA Center Leads International Research Study Aboard Ronald H. Brown Ship

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Against the backdrop of an expansive, nearly cloudless sky and churning blue waters beneath , an international research team of scientists and students led by the Howard University National Oceanic and
NOAA Ship, Ronald H. Brown, used in Howard-led international expedition.
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS) recently completed a nearly month long research expedition aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown . The Howard-led team was granted the use of the ship to conduct the Trans-Atlantic Saharan Dust AERosols and Oceanographic Science Expedition (AEROSE). The comprehensive mission, encompassing both atmospheric and oceanographic research, satellite validation experiments, and technique development, took place from February 29 through March 26, 2004. The fundamental purpose of the AEROSE mission was to provide a set of critical measurements to characterize the impacts and microphysical evolution of Saharan dust aerosol transport across the Atlantic Ocean .

The Principal Investigator and Co-Chief Scientist of the mission was Howard University Associate Professor Vernon R. Morris. Dr. Morris is the Principal Investigator and Director of NCAS, a research center supported by a $7.5 million cooperative agreement with NOAA, which was initiated in October 2001. The Chief Scientist of the mission was Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colón of NOAA NESDIS. Howard graduate students and NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) scientists provided shore-side support for AEROSE through meteorological forecasting and satellite data analysis. Howard University participants also included Dr. Everette Joseph (Department of Physics and Astronomy), and doctoral graduate students Francis Mensah, Lizette Roldán, and Michelle Strachan.

Other participants included faculty and students from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM), the Canary Institute of Marine Sciences (ICCM), the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics Siméon Fongang (LPASF) in Dakar, the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory (UW/APL), and the NOAA CREST center at CUNY, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NOAA/NESDIS/ORA.

Dr. Morris stated that the global transport of desert dust has been acknowledged as a significant factor in atmospheric radiative balance, atmospheric oxidizing capacity, the deposition of limiting nutrients into the upper ocean, transport of fungi and microorganisms, and in the indirect aerosol effect via cloud modification.

“NCAS is part of an ongoing research initiative at Howard University in the Atmospheric Sciences to investigate issues of national importance, with impacts on the global community in general and the African Diaspora in particular, “ said Dr. Morris.

Saharan dust events are an excellent example of these investigations. The dust storms inject over two billion (2 x 10 9 ) metric tons of material into the atmosphere on an annual basis. A large portion of this material makes its way across the Atlantic Ocean into the US , the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and eastern US seaboard. While this phenomenon is not a new one, it is likely to have been an active process as long as the Saharan desert has been in existence. However, the frequency and intensity of the dust storms have apparently increased and the increased density and types of aerosols in the atmosphere have a largely undetermined affect on several key processes affecting climate change.

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