Atmospheric Observatory

The Penlee Point Atmospheric Observatory (PPAO) was established by PML in 2014 for long-term observations of ocean-atmosphere interaction and forms part of the Western Channel Observatory.

The Penlee Point Atmospheric Observatory (PPAO) receives atmospheric input from the north-west, across the Tamar Estuary from sources in Northern Europe and local shipping, and the open, less polluted Atlantic Ocean to the south-west. This allows us to quantify the impact of anthropogenic activity, such as emissions from ships, on coastal environments as well as the influence of the sea on nearby land.

The PPAO takes continuous measurements of several gases in the air including concentrations of sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon dioxide and methane, as well as aerosols, trace metals and organics. The PPAO facilitates quantification of air-sea gas transport by using state-of-the-art eddy covariance techniques; it is very suitable for long-term, high temporal resolution measurements of air-sea exchange in shelf regions. Additionally the PPAO has proven very useful in testing and comparing instruments designed to measure fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane terrestrially and assess their suitability for use in obtaining air-sea flux measurements.

Key contact

Dr Tim Smyth

Head of Science - Marine Biogeochemistry and Observations - tjsm26/01/2022


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