The overall objective of the STAR project (Support for Tropical Atmospheric Research) is to strengthen the European contribution to the global observation system, and to support international cooperation in setting up these observation systems in the tropics. It is a joint effort of European and Japanese research groups to establish a shared atmospheric observatory in Paramaribo, Suriname at the northern coast of South America at 5.8N and 55.2W (figure 1). The location of the observatory is unique because of the fact that it lies very close to the Equator, at a location in the middle of the annual migration range of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Hence air from both hemispheres can be sampled at different times of the year. The station fills in an important gap in the global atmospheric observatory network.
The project facilitates access of European and other research groups to the observatory, enhances the technical capabilities of the site, builds capacity for global change research and monitoring in the tropics, and improves the conditions for the execution of a long-term observational program. The project contributes to the implementation of the FP6 work program and support international networks and programs like the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) program, GCOS, the WCRP SPARC project, and the NDSC and SHADOZ networks.
Partners of the STAR project are:
Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI, Coordinator Institute), The Netherlands
Meteorological Service Suriname (MDS), Suriname
Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA/IASB), Belgium
Institute for Environmental Physics (IUP), Uni. Heidelberg, Germany
Institute for Environmental Physics (IUP), Uni. Bremen, Germany
Department of Technical Physics, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), The Netherlands
Faculty of Technology, Anton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeK), Suriname
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research Bremerhaven, Germany
Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan
The STAR project was executed between April 1, 2004, and August 31, 2006, and it involved the following activities:
A significant upgrading of the site to be able to host additional instruments and visiting scientist, and an improvement of the organisation and coordination of the measurement program;
Short pilot studies to assess the feasibility and requirements of operating several additional instruments at the site;
A program to intensify the collaboration between local scientists and the other partners of the Paramaribo observatory
The retrieval and homogenisation of historical observational data from the region.
Results of each of the activities are described in the next section. A discussion is added on how the results contribute to the general objectives of the project.
GHL Verver, P Fortuin, CR Becker, M De Maziere, B Dix, J Notholt, T Warnecke, H Kelder, S Naipal, O Schrems, F Immler, M Fujiwara. Support for Tropical Atmospheric Research (STAR): Final Report