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TENATSO - Tropical Eastern North Atlantic Time-Series Observatory

Summary information

Funding:FP6 - Specific Support Action
Total cost:549760
Ec contribution:549760
Start date:2006-01-10
End date:2009-03-31
Duration:30 months
Coordinator:Douglas Wallace (
Organisation:Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel - Germany
Themes:Temperature changes; ocean current changes; oxygen depletion; biological impacts; socio-economic consequences
Regio:North Atlantic
Keywords:Aerosols; greenhouse gases; GAW; GEOSS; natural resources
Project name:TENATSO - Tropical Eastern North Atlantic Time-Series Observatory
Project summary:Abstract
Observation is fundamental to understanding global change. Atmospheric change impacts marine ecosystems, and the atmosphere is influenced by ocean physical and biogeochemical processes. Many impacts/feedbacks are focussed on the Tropics.

TENATSO will support pre-operational atmosphere and ocean observation capability in the tropical Eastern North Atlantic Ocean, specifically at Cape Verde (17°36'N, 24°16'W). The entire region is data poor but plays a key role in air-sea interaction. Cape Verde is ideally located for both atmosphere and ocean observation. Being downwind of the Mauritanian up welling, the Observatory will provide unique information linking biological productivity and atmospheric composition. The location is critical for climate and greenhouse gas studies and for investigating dust impacts on marine ecosystems.

The Observatory can contribute data for assessment of major marine biological resources. This Action proposes no research or monitoring: rather it supports transfer of European technology/expertise to a developing country with strong ties to Europe. The Action is leveraged on financial support by the Partners and the Observatory is of use to European programmes.
The atmospheric site will measure meteorological parameters, greenhouse and short-lived gases, and aerosols. Data links to the Global Atmospheric Watch of the WMO will be established. The ocean site will include a mooring for temperature, salinity, current and oxygen measurements and establish data links to international observing programmes. Cape Verde's vessel will be equipped to collect samples for marine parameters. The data will contribute to GEOSS.

The co-location of atmospheric and ocean Observatories is unique. The Observatory will support additional research measurements by international investigators and become a resource to European and international projects. The work plan is structured to establish the Atmospheric and Oceanic Observatories, train Cape Verde personnel, test systems and perform outreach to the potential user community and funders.

TENATSO work plan is divided into 3 work packages (WP):
WP1: Support and technical activities for the atmospheric site
WP2: Support and technical activities for the oceanographic site
WP3: Project management, including joint coordination of the atmospheric and oceanic components, assessment of progress, dissemination and outreach.
Project outputs:The main results of this project will be the establishment of long-term observations from a data poor yet very important region. The data will contribute not only to better understanding the Tropics, but also indicate potential consequences for climate change at the global level. The observatory is used as a site for campaign-style measurements, including visits from international scientists. It also supports an increasing number of Cape Verdean scientists, technicians and students.

With respect to atmospheric observation, TENATSO capitalized on an atmospheric observation site initially developed by UK SOLAS (a NERC Thematic Programme), but enhanced the facilities significantly so that they are suitable for long-term measurements and science support. This included measurement of key meteorological and climate parameters relevant to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems including long-lived greenhouse gases and the size and chemical composition of the aerosol and dust. The atmospheric site is suitable for support of shorter-term research visits.

With respect to oceanographic observation, two sampling modes were established at a pelagic site representative of open ocean conditions that is located immediately “upwind/upstream‟ of the atmospheric observation site:
- Regular visits of the Cape Verde research vessel Islândia to the site, together with CTD profiling and water sampling for nutrients, dissolved gases and plankton;
- Establishment of a long-term mooring for the continuous measurement of physical and basic chemical parameters. In this case existing Cape Verdean infrastructure were enhanced and complemented with hardware and expertise provided by the European partners.

Specific project achievements can be found on the project website.