The NDACC Steering Committee Meets in Boulder, Colorado, USA

The annual meeting of the international Steering Committee (SC) for NDACC was held 6-10 November 2017 in Boulder, CO, USA at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).  James Hannigan of NCAR hosted the meeting.  Dr. James Hurrell, a climate scientist and Director of NCAR, welcomed the attendees and gave a brief introduction to the Center’s facilities, mission, and associated programs in atmospheric and related sciences.

Following a brief discussion of the agenda and recurring action items, the status of the appointments of Instrument Working Group (IWG) Representatives was reviewed, and the recommended renewals and elections by the IWGs were approved.  A review of the status, departure, needed replacement, and possible addition of members of the SC followed.  The imminent end of Dr. Anne Thompson’s 3-year term as SC Co-Chair was noted, and the required election was conducted.  Dr. Thompson’s excellent performance over the past three years was acknowledged, and she was nominated and unanimously elected for a second term.  Congratulations, Anne!

The review of the annual Instrument Report Form, required for submission by all NDACC Principal Investigators (PIs), led to some minor revisions for improved clarity and content.  Detailed reports from each of the IWGs followed (Dobson/Brewer, Infrared, Lidar, Microwave, Sondes, Spectral UV, and UV/Vis.).  These reports highlighted working group activities and/or meetings during the past year, summarized NDACC measurement and analysis activities and recent accomplishments, reviewed the status of proposals (received and pending) seeking NDACC measurement affiliation, and outlined possible new sites for consideration.  The reports also reviewed the funding status of the various instruments and stations, and detailed the archiving status reported by the various PIs.  The latter was later compared to that reported by the Manager of the NDACC Data Host Facility (DHF).

The Satellite Working Group report included a review of the WG objectives, a comprehensive update of satellite missions (current and planned), a discussion of the harmonization of calibration and validation and quality-assurance practices, and considerations of Network strategies for enhanced satellite validation and complementary science.  The Theory and Analysis WG presentation included a summary of the model support that is being provided by this WG to the Instrument WGs.  In particular, the availability of new GMI-MERRA2 station support files for various instruments, and the use of GMI-MERRA2 constituent variability simulations to reduce sampling bias in NDACC multi-decadal data sets, were highlighted.

Reports from seven of the NDACC Cooperating Networks followed (AERONET, AGAGE, BSRN, GRUAN, MPLNET, NOAA HATS, and SHADOZ), with a focus on current Network activities pertinent to NDACC interests, and possible future collaborations.  The Water Vapor Theme Group report focused on frostpoint hygrometer calibration and validation and the documentation of uncertainties.  The Theme Group on Cross-Network Data Integration reported that it has initiated a Chloromethanes Project that will focus on CH3Cl, CH2CCl2, CHCl3, and CCl4 remote-sensing measurements from NDACC FTIRs and in situ measurements from AGAGE and NOAA HATS.

The report by the NDACC Data Host Facility (DHF) Manager summarized the archiving status of all NDACC-affiliated instruments, and provided the latest statistics on NDACC data acquisition and use.  While there are some cases where data archiving is not up-to-date, these situations continue to become smaller in number due to the proactive involvement of the various IWG Co-Chairs and the DHF Manager in contacting the people responsible for data submission from the various sites, and assisting them in resolving any issues associated with such submission.  The IWG Co-Chairs will continue to work with the DHF Manager to reduce even further the number of cases of delinquent data archiving.

In an effort to enhance NDACC communications and public outreach, a new NDACC website was initiated over the past year, and its current and planned features were reviewed.  A decision was made to reinstate a “Latest News” column (formerly “Hot News”), and to continue the publication of the NDACC Newsletter, but on a more frequent (annual) schedule.  The NDACC Organizational and Observational Capabilities charts were updated.  These will be included in a generic NDACC poster, into which the presenter can insert specific science results.  The report on the multi-journal special issue commemorating 25 years of NDACC operations included a list of the 39 papers that have been submitted, including a comprehensive introductory paper on the history, status, and perspectives of the Network.

A special session was dedicated to European initiatives that promote and support NDACC activities in Europe.  During that session, particular attention was given to the integration of NDACC into the ACTRIS Research Infrastructure that is being prepared, to the role of NDACC as a reference network in the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service and Climate Change Service, and to the EU H2020 GAIA-CLIM project.  A demonstration of the outcomes of the GAIA-CLIM project was given to collect feedback from the NDACC SC members for making sure that the project results are representative of the expectations of the community dealing with non-satellite Essential Climate Variables observations.

The proposal to hold the 2018 SC meeting at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva from 10-14 September was accepted.  The meeting likely will include a visit to the Payerne or Zimmerwald measurement site on 14 September.

The 2017 meeting closed with presentations by several NDACC SC members and invited guests highlighting the results from recent science studies, as well as international agency activities and projects.

Following the meeting, many SC members visited the NCAR Research Aircraft Facility where they were given an overview of NCAR's airborne science capabilities (utilizing a C-130 and Gulfstream V) and instrument development activities. A tour of the Gulfstream V followed.