Atmospheric Chemistry Studies in the Oceanic Environment (ACSOE)
ACSOE was a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Thematic Research Programme to investigate the chemistry of the lower atmosphere (0-12 km) over the oceans.
Its aim was to improve our understanding of the natural processes occurring in this layer and how these processes are affected by atmospheric pollution coming from the continents. This information is vital in understanding the regional and global-scale changes in atmospheric chemistry and climate.
Who ran the project?
ACSOE was led by Prof. Stuart Penkett of the University of East Anglia. The project had three study groups made up of scientists from UK institutes and universities, each focusing on a different scientific topic.
- OXICOA (Oxidising Capacity of the Ocean Atmosphere) — a study of oxidant, radical and related gas-phase chemistry in the clean and moderately polluted marine atmosphere.
- MAGE (Marine Aerosol and Gas Exchange) — a study of aspects of air-sea exchange relevant to atmospheric chemistry and aerosol production.
- ACE (Aerosol Characterisation Experiment ) — a study of the processing of gasses and aerosols through hill-cap clouds on Tenerife and sub-tropical marine stratocumulus.
The programme ran between 1995 and 2000 with fieldwork carried out in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
The ACSOE study area extended from the cold water regions south of Iceland, through the temperate eastern Atlantic and North Sea, to the Canary Islands in the sub-tropical Atlantic.
Data collected in the marine environment
MAGE (Marine Aerosol and Gas Exchange) was the only component of ACSOE which included measurements in the marine environment. This group focused on the study of aspects of air-sea exchange relevant to atmospheric chemistry and aerosol production. It consisted of three experiments.
- The Eastern Atlantic Experiments (EAE), EAE96 and EAE97 in June and July 1996, and in May 1997. Data from cruises of RRS Challenger (CH127 and CH133).
- The Air Sea Gas Marine Aerosol and Gas Exchange North Sea Experiment (ASGAMAGE) in the Southern North Sea in October and November 1996. Data from a cruise of RRS Challenger (CH129).
- The North Atlantic Experiment (NAE) in the North Eastern Atlantic in June and July 1998. Data from a cruise of RRS Discovery (DI234).
A wide range of physical, chemical and biological parameters were measured. Data set list for ACSOE-MAGE gives more information about the data collected on each cruise.
BODC assisted the ACSOE project in the onboard collection and subsequent working up of ship data. We assembled all marine data into a database, carrying out quality control and data processing as required.
The overall ACSOE data management was handled by the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC).
The ACSOE data set
Atmospheric data collected during the programme are held at the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC).
Data collected in the marine environment for the MAGE component of ACSOE are held by BODC. The data are stored in our databank and are available on request. For more information contact the BODC Enquiries Officer.