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WP 1.1 High-altitude Climatic Observation System and Climate Station Network

In-situ or ground-based observations at mountain sites can provide information about background atmospheric composition variability over wide regions. On the other hand, mountain regions can be affected by “acute” transport events of anthropogenic air pollutants or air-masses enriched by natural compounds (e.g. mineral dust, volcanic emissions or biogenic particulate aerosol) able to drive atmospheric composition variability and directly affect mountain ecosystem and biodiversity.

The scientific purposes of WP1.1 are (i) to investigate the variability of atmospheric composition and related driving processes for contributing towards a better assessment of impacts to mountain ecosystems and regional-global climate, (ii) to assess the exposure of mountain environment to anthropogenic pollution, to the varying atmospheric baseline concentrations, to climate change (iii) to investigate the changes over time of essential climate variables (temperature and precipitation) over Italian mountain regions.

Thus, WP1.1 aims in providing quality-assessed information about the variability of essential atmospheric variables (e.g. temperature and precipitation, particulate aerosol, greenhouse gases, reactive gases, precipitation depositions) over Italian mountain regions. The methodologies to achieve this goal are based on the execution of continuous long-term near-surface and ground-based observations of pollutant/climate-altering compounds (Taks 1), the implementation of a mountain network to investigate depositions (Task 2), the assessment of the Elevation Dependent Warming effect over mountain regions in Italy (Task 3), the realization of climatological data-sets for surface temperature and precipitation with high spatial resolution (Task 4).

Task 1. Integration of a national network for the monitoring of atmospheric composition (long-lived greenhouse gases, short-lived climate forcers/pollutants, ancillary parameters) in background conditions to investigate the variability of pollutant and climate-altering compounds. One of the goal of Task 1 is to facilitate, among the existing observatories, the harmonization of protocols for measurements, analyses, QA/QC procedures and to foster the adoption of common calibration scales in the framework of international initiatives (e.g. GAW-WMO, ICOS-RI, ACTRIS). In this regard, the support to the implementation of the GAW-WMO Global Station at Monte Cimone is a priority. At this site, we will implement new in-situ measurement programmes as well as remote sensing ground-based observations (e.g. aerosol LIDAR, vertical profile of trace gases by DOAS, photometry for AOD determination). To strength the national support to international programmes (e.g. Copernicus, WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System, Integrated Global Greenhouse Gases Information System by GAW), we will foster the commissioning of operative and experimental services for early warning, near-real time data delivery and the open-access publication of data. In case of necessity, specific field campaign will be also executed.

Task 2. Creation of a network of deposimeters in Dolomitic area (and, more generally, in the Veneto Region) to monitor stable isotope ratios and geochemical parameters in atmospheric precipitation. A network of 10 sampling devices will be installed along an altitudinal transect between 0 and 2550 m a.s.l. An Elemental Analyzer equipped with EA/MS interface for the analysis of stable isotopes in solid samples (both instruments purchased with funds NextData) will be also installed at the IDPA-CNR labs. Monthly depositions sampling, surface water, pore water and sphagnum peat in several sites along an altitudinal transect (# 4 sites).

Task 3. Collection of data to assess Elevation Dependent Warming over mountain regions in Italy.

 • Task 4. Realization of a climatology of monthly temperature and precipitation at high spatial resolution (30 arc-seconds) for Italian mountain areas with altitude above 1500 meters, through the analysis and the elaboration of instrumental time series of temperature and precipitation. For the three national parks of Gran Paradiso, Stelvio, and Paneveggio / Pale di San Martino monthly data-sets of temperatures and precipitation temporal series will be reconstructed at the same spatial resolution for the past decades.