NT BAPS, located at Gunn Point ~ 40km to the northeast of Darwin, is a regional station in the World Meteorological Organisation’s Global Atmospheric Watch (WMO GAW) Program along with Cape Grim, RV Investigator, Macquarie Is, Casey, Mawson, and Cape Ferguson which together provide key data on atmospheric composition and chemistry spanning the Southern Latitudes. Along with our partners at NT BAPS- BoM, ANSTO and Macquarie University- measurements of greenhouse gases, aerosols, reactive gases, mercury and radon have been collected since 2010 with expanded measurements occurring as part of focused field campaigns.
Savannah fires contribute significantly to global aerosol loading and consequently to the Earth’s radiative budget. Accurate modelling of the impact of these aerosols on climate is limited due to a lack of long-term observation records in the tropical savannah. Likewise, the inter-annual and decadal variability of methane remains poorly understood, principally due to a lack of observational data in the tropics, where biomass burning and wetland emissions are both large sources that alternate between the dry and wet seasons. Measurements of aerosols, methane and other GHGs in the tropics contributes to the data needed to answer key questions about global carbon accounting. This presentation will provide an overview of the measurement capability at NT BAPS, it's contribution to national observing programs, and current and future directions of the NT BAPS program.