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Atmospheric Research Laboratory

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The most up to date information can be found on our group's website here:


The ARL conducts research on atmospheric chemistry, transport, and surface-atmosphere trace gas fluxes. Researchers are heavily involved in field research at continental, midlatitude sites as well as in the polar regions.

Studies in snow-covered environments focus on the role of snow on surface fluxes of important atmospheric trace gases. A monitoring station on Pico Mountain in the Azores is equipped with a hydrocarbon monitor for investigations on the long-range transport of air pollution across the Atlantic Ocean. Another emphasis is the analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC), in particular emissions of biogenic VOC from vegetation. Measurements are made by solid adsorbent sampling techniques, thermal desorption instruments, and several gas chromatographs with different detection systems, including flame ionization and mass spectrometry. The global distribution of non-methane hydrocarbons is investigated by analysis of air samples that are collected within the framework of the NOAA Global Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Network. Another project involves deployment of eddy correlation flux instrumentation on the NOAA Ron Brown research vessel for investigations on the uptake of ozone to the oceans.

The ARL also pursues research on boundary-layer dynamics and the vertical distribution of chemical species by vertical profile measurements using a tethered balloon platform with various balloon-borne meteorological and chemical sensors.

In 2004, NOAA's Global Monitoring Division in collaboration with the ARL began a program for measurements of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in air samples collected at remote locations around the globe. This program is one of the core components of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) program for Volatile Organic Compounds.  Find out more about the Global VOC program.

Contact Information

(Phone) 303 492-2509
(Fax) 303 492-6388
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)
University of Colorado
Campus Box 450
Boulder, CO 80309-0450, USA

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