Italian Climate Observatory “Ottavio Vittori”- Po Valley @ Mt. Cimone

The Italian Climate Observatory “Ottavio Vittori” is located on the top of Mt. Cimone (2165 m a.s.l.), the highest peak of the northern Italian Apennines. This research infrastructure it is the only high mountain station for atmospheric research located both South of the Alps and the Po basin. Due to the completely free horizon, high altitude and great distance from major pollution sources, the Observatory represents a strategic platform to study the chemical-physical characteristics and climatology of the lower troposphere in the South Europe and North Mediterranean basin.

The “Ottavio Vittori” Climate Observatory is part of the GAW-WMO Station “Monte Cimone” (GAW ID: CMN), the only one among the 31 Global Stations of the Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) program of the World Organization for Meteorology (WMO) present on the Italian territory and in the Mediterranean Basin.

At the Observatory, the research activities began in 1991 while continuous monitoring of climate-altering compounds (trace gases and aerosol), solar radiation as well as meteorological parameters are carried out since 1996. Over the years, field campaigns have been also hosted at this research infrastructure in the framework of different projects (eg. MINATROC, ACTRIS, …) as well as TNA - Trans National Access as part of ACTRIS-2.

The measurement activities carried out at the Observatory can help to better monitor the changes of atmospheric composition, to investigate the processes influencing climate and to assess the contribution of short and long-range air mass transport to atmospheric variability. Data from the Observatory are also used to calibrate and verify data from satellites and model simulations.

Observation activities and measurement programs include: carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, halogenated gases, sulfur hexafluoride, columnar ozone and nitrogen dioxide (DOAS), aerosol size distribution (particles from 280 nm to 10 micron), aerosol scattering coefficient, aerosol number concentration, black carbon, aerosol chemistry, meteorological parameters, solar radiation, sun photometry.

The Mt. Cimone Observatory is part of several international networks devoted to the long-term monitoring of atmospheric properties and climate change study, including the European Research Infrastructures ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) e ACTRIS (Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases).

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