Nepal Climate Observatory - Pyramid (NCO-P)
The Nepal Climate Observatory - Pyramid (NCO-P, 27.95 N, 86.82 E) is located at 5079m a.s.l. in Sagarmatha National Park near the base camp of Mt. Everest in the Nepal Himalaya, a global hot-spot in terms of anthropogenic impacts to climate and environment. Indeed, a wide atmospheric layer, the so-called Atmospheric Brown Cloud, affects the Indian sub-continent during the dry season (from November to May), extending up to the high mountains and affecting regional climate and air quality.
Thanks to the collaboration between Ev-K2-CNR, ISAC-CNR, CNRS and NAST, NCO-P was set up on January 2006 in the framework of ABC - UNEP and SHARE - EvK2CNR projects. On July 2010, the station has been upgraded to 29th Global Station of the Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) program by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Continuous observations of meteorology, surface ozone and aerosol physical properties are currently carried out at this station, together with sampling programmes for aerosol chemistry and halogenated greenhouse gases (in collaboration with Urbino University). This allow to accurately investigate the background atmospheric composition of the Himalayan regions, providing indication about the impact of natural processes and anthropogenic emissions. In particular, NCO-P is a strategic platform where investigating the impact of the Atmospheric Brown Cloud pollutant transport to the Himalayas environment and the free troposphere over South Asia.