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  • READER (REference Antarctic Data for Environmental Research) is a project of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR and has the goal of creating a high quality, long term dataset of mean surface and upper air meteorological measurements from in-situ Antarctic observing systems. These data will be of value in climate research and climate change investigations. The primary sources of data are the Antarctic research stations and automatic weather stations. Data from mobile platforms, such as ships and drifting buoys are not being collected since our goal is to derive time series of data at fixed locations. Surface and upper air data are being collected and the principal statistics derived are monthly and annual means. Daily data will not be provided in order to keep the data set to a manageable size. With the resources available to the project, it is clearly not possible to collect all the information that could be required by the whole range of investigations into change in the Antarctic. Instead a key set of meteorological variables (surface temperature, mean sea level pressure and surface wind speed, and upper air temperature, geopotential height and wind speed at standard levels) are being assembled and a definitive set of measurements presented for use by researchers. A lot of stations have been operated in the Antarctic over the years; many for quite short periods. However, our goal here is to provide information on the long time series that can provide insight into change in the Antarctic. So to be included, the record from a station must extend for 25 years, although not necessarily in a continuous period, or be currently in operation and have operated for the last 10 years. In READER we have chosen to use only data from year-round stations.

  • The Skiymet meteor radar was deployed at Rothera (68S, 68W) in Feb 2005. The radar measures the winds, waves and tides of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) regions of the atmosphere. The radar routinely makes three types of measurement: 1. horizontal winds at heights of ~ 75 - 105 km from the drifting of meteors as they are carried by the winds of the MLT; 2. atmospheric temperature from the decay rate of meteor echoes; 3. meteor fluxes, derived from several thousand meteors per day. The radar has been used with an existing, identical, radar in the Arctic at the conjugate latitude of 68N, 21E (Esrange) to produce accurate climatologies of winds, waves and tides - and to quantify the differences between the Antarctic and Arctic MLT (using identical radars eliminates otherwise problematic measurement biases). Other studies will carefully examine meteor/MF-radar instrument biases and apply a developing technique to continually measure temperature using the decay rate of meteor echoes. The radar complements the existing OH temperature spectrometer and imaging airglow camera at Rothera.