ABC Climate Observatory and Capacity Building


1. Networking of Surface Observatories

A network of ground-based observatories (hereinafter, referred to as the ABC Climate Observatory Network) has been established in Asia-Pacific region, a poorly monitored part of the world. The objectives of networking of observatories are to acquire continuous observational data of ABCs. Major parameters of ABCs measured at the observatories includes mass concentrations, chemical compositions, and microphysical properties of the aerosols with particular emphasis on black carbon, organics, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), size distribution, and trace gases as well as solar radiation, precipitation chemistry, and meteorological paremeters. The observational data can be archived at ​​data center and then shared with scientific community for better integrated interpretation.

Given below is the map of ABC Climate Observatory Network showing the locations of observatories in Asia-Pacific region. New-ABC-Observatory-Map-v4-1.pngStatus of ABC Climate Observatory Network (as of March 2014)

1.   India Climate Observatory – Pune (ICO-P)
2.   Japan Climate Observatory – Okinawa (JCO-O)
3.   Kenya Climate Observatory – Nairobi (KCO-N)
4.   Kirgizstan Climate Observatory – Central Asia (KCO-CA)
5.   Korea Climate Observatory – Gosan (KCO-G)
6.   Maldives Climate Observatory – Gan (MCO-G)  (not operational)
7.   Maldives Climate Observatory – Hanimaadhoo (MCO-H)
8.   National Atmospheric and Climate Observatory - Trinidad Head (NACO-T) (not operational)
9.   Nepal Climate Observatory – Godavari (NCO-G)
10.  Nepal Climate Observatory – Pyramid (NCO-P)
11.  Pakistan Climate Observatory – Karakorum (PCO-K)
12.  Pakistan Climate Observatory – Multan (PCO-M)
13.  Thailand Climate Observatory – Phimai (TCO-P) 
Four Climate Observatories from China will be included in ABC Climate Observatory Network.

These observatories are located at the strategically unique locations in Asia-Pacific region, representing atmospheric conditions of that region. MCO-H-Pic-v2.pngFor examples, Maldives Climate Observatory-Hanimaadhoo (MCO-H), located at the sea level height in Indian Ocean, is an ideal observation site to study the atmospheric characteristics of Indian Ocean atmosphere including long range transport of air pollutants emitted from South Asia, South East Asia, and Africa; Nepal Climate Observatory-Pyramid (NCO-P), located at height of 5.08 km from the sea level near the Mount Everest, is the best observation site to study the impact of ABCs on the Himalaya region; Thailand Climate Observatory-Phimai (TCO-P) is located in biomass burning region; and similarly Japan Climate Observatory-Okinawa (JCO-O) and Korea Climate Observatory (KCO-G) are the best sites to study atmospheric characteristics of East China Sea including long range transport of pollutants emitted from the East Asia.KCO-G-1.png

Most of the observatories are well-equipped with state-of-the-art instruments. These observatories have been operated by national scientists and technicians of the country where the observatory is located, with regular training and technical support from the ABC Science Team. This arrangement provides a country ownership to the ABC observatory programme. 

Apart from observations of ABCs at the ground-based observatories, ABC scientists also carryout time to time the field measurement campaigns those includes measurements on land (remote locations), aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and ship. The objectives of these field campaigns are to increase the understanding on ABCs, including their level of mass concentrations and physical and chemical properties at the remote locations on land, mountain and sea; and aerosol-vertical profile, aerosol-cloud interaction, and radiative forcing.

Given below are main field campaigns conducted under the framework of the ABC programme:

ABC Post-MonsoonExperiment (APMEX,) 2004

Atmospheric Brown Cloud–East Asia RegionalExperiment (ABC-EAREX),2005

Maldives AUAV Campaign (MAC), 2006

ABC-East Asia Regional Experiment (EAREX) 2007 

Cloud Aerosol Radiative Forcing Dynamics Experiment (CARDEX) 2012

Sustainable Development of KathmanduValley (ABC-SusKat) 2012-2013

ABC data collected at observatories, field campaigns, modeling experiment outputs, and emission inventory are archived at the Central Data Archival at ABC-Data and Information Service Center (ABC-DISC) located at RRC.AP. The data then send, as per following scheme, to Data Analysis Centers established at the Seoul National University (SNU), Korea for analysis. Further, the analyzed data are send to Modeling Group Data Collection Center established at The University of Tokyo (UT), Japan.  

Data-Archival.pngData Centers

1. ABC-Asia Secretariat, Regional Resources Center for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand (to be updated soon)

​2. ABC-Asia Data Analysis Center, Seoul National University, Korea

3. ABC ​Modeling Group, The University of Tokyo, Japan 


2. Networking of Scientists

A strong network of renowned scientists, those including from India, China, Japan, America, Germany, Sweden, Korea and ex-officio of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), have been established over a decade. This network has been providing a platform to scientists to share their research findings on ABCs and to promote collaborative research. The network comprises an ABC International Science Team, Regional Science Teams (e.g. ABC-Asia Science Team). These regional science team are working with the support of their national Governments. Science Team.pngCollaboration among African scientists has been increased on ABCs issues during last few years. At the national level, black carbon teams have been established in major developing countries like India and China. Now, more than 250 scientists are working on ABCs issues. ABC programme organizes ABC Science and Implementation Team meeting every year in which ABC Scientists  share their research findings and plan for future activities on observations, impact assessment, and mitigation. Policy makers, for examples, the environment ministry officials from major countries have been also invited in each ABC meeting with the objective that policy makers would incorporate ABC research findings into their national environment policies. Involving policy makers in ABC programme is a science-policy interface. 

3. Capacity Building

3.1 Training Schools

ABC programme organizes international training schools to enhance the capacity of young scientists (M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, postdoc researchers, and young faculties). The objectives of training schools are to familiarize young scientists with the theoretical concepts of atmosphere and climate science and monitoring of ABCs using various sophisticated instruments. Over a decade of period, ABC programme have organized four training schools.

First ABC training school was organized at Maldives Climate Observatory-Hanimaadhoo (MCO-H), Maldives, during 6-14 October 2004 (report); second was organized at Asian Institute of technology (AIT), Bangkok (for theoretical lessons) and MCO-H (for practical training) during 4-14 October 2006 (report); third and fourth training school were organized at International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal during 3-7 December 2008  (report) and 21-26 March 2011, respectively.

The internationally recognized renowned atmospheric scientists from China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, and United States were invited to deliver the lectures and provide hands on practical training. During theoretical lessons, participants were given classroom lectures on theoretical background and an overview of current knowledge on various aspects of ABCs and climate change science including basic principles of operation of advanced instruments used for atmospheric aerosols and trace gases measurements, precipitation chemistry, radiation, and meteorological measurements. This facilitated the students in their collection, analysis and interpretation of atmospheric data. While during practical training, participants were trained on operation of various instruments to monitor various ABCs parameters such as PM10, PM2.5, AOD, O3, CO, NOx, SO2, BC, and meteorological parameters such as  wind speed (WS), wind direction (WD), temperature, pressure, and relative humidity (RH). They were also trained on analysis and interpretation of the data collected during the training period.

In all four training schools, a total of 101 young scientists from 15 countries, including India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Maldives,  Thailand, Kirgizstan, Vietnam, Italy, Switzerland, and USA, were  trained. In training schools, gender ratio was maintained by giving an equal opportunity to the women participants. Out 101 total participants 34 were the female. List of participants...

After each training school, an evaluation was conducted among the participants for their views on the usefulness of training materials, method of teaching, practical exposure on advanced instruments, and how the knowledge and practical training of ABC schools would help them in career selection. With out great satisfaction, majority of the participants ranked the training schools as the excellent. Infract, at present many participants have chosen their career in atmospheric science and some of them even taking care of the ABC observatories located in their countries.

3.2 Public Participation

In addition to training schools, ABC programme have started an initiative at MCO-H through which high school, college, and university students are invited at MCO-H for scientific field visits. The students will have opportunity to know about modern techniques of air pollution measurements. This would create an awareness among young students on the issue of ABCs. We have open MCO-H observatory facilities to researchers who want to have training on the measurements and want to pursue their research. We have also encouraged local community including the policy makers to visit the observatory. This would be helpful for us to communicate with policy makers effectively on the issues of ABCs.

In this series of activities, high school students of Hanimaadhoo Island has visited MCO-H in December 2013. Dr. Krishnakant Budhavant, the Resident Scientists at MCO-H, has shown measurements and explain  basics principle of instruments operation. Mr. Ajay A, Research Associate at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, took three weeks training at MCO-H. He has assisted Resident Scientist in operation and calibration of the instruments. The Vice-President of Maldives, with a delegate of the ministers and other government high officials, has visited MCOH in February 2014. (ABC News)