Atmospheric Measurements Laboratory
Contact: Jason Tomlinson
PNNL researcher Dr. Gourihar Kulkarni works on the counter-flow virtual impactor (CVI). Coupling the ice chamber with the ice CVI and single- particle mass spectrometer will provide much-needed insight into which aerosol particles form ice and how. Enlarged View
The Atmospheric Measurements Laboratory (AML) is one of the nation's leading research facilities for understanding climate change—specifically, how clouds interact with aerosols and other processes to affect climate. This facility, located at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington, offers these distinctive advantages:
- It enables researchers to conduct unique combinations of laboratory research, modeling, and extensive field observations, a combination currently unavailable elsewhere.
- Scientists at PNNL, other national laboratories, and universities can use the facility and instruments for studies involving climate, aerosol chemistry and dispersion and diffusion.
- The AML is furnished with multiple aerosol chamber research facilities and staging areas for ancillary and aircraft instrumentation and radiometric tools. Instruments ranging from radar profilers, radiometers, and gas and aerosol systems can be calibrated and tested prior to field deployment.
- It enables measurements on episodic and long-term monitoring, mission-oriented experiments, and field campaigns.
- Users can collaborate with PNNL researchers in atmospheric science and global change. These experts are nationally and internationally recognized in their fields-and are known for integrating measurements, modeling, and laboratory research to generate new insights.
- It provides office space adjacent to laboratories, as well as hands-on research opportunities for researchers and students.
Central to the AML are two key facilities that were constructed with funds from PNNL's Aerosol Climate Initiative.
- The atmospheric research chamber for a variety of aerosol/cloud-related investigations requiring accurate simulation of atmospheric conditions to study the role of aerosols and climate, including investigations of aerosol formation and transformation, the role of aerosols as cloud condensation nuclei, and aerosol processes associated with key anthropogenic, biogenic, and biomass burning compounds.
- The ice nucleation chamber for making artificial clouds that activate particles under precisely controlled temperature and supersaturation conditions and separating these particles from the rest of the aerosol to study ice nucleation. This novel ice chamber will be used to induce freezing at various temperature and supersaturation conditions to study ice nucleation.