Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean are key drivers of Earth’s oceanic and atmospheric systems. Our entire planet is interconnected with, and greatly influenced by, processes originating in the far south. We will not be able to fully understand how the Earth system works without comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the physical, biological, chemical and geological processes taking place there. An extensive observation and data gathering effort is required across the entire Antarctic continent and its surrounding ocean to gain the necessary knowledge needed.
The Troll Observing Network (TONe) is a comprehensive infrastructure network that aims to contribute significantly to this goal. It is centered at the Norwegian Antarctic research station Troll and focused on the Dronning Maud Land (DML) region, a region of Antarctica with relatively little observational data available. The initiative is spearheaded by the Norwegian Polar Institute, in collaboration with an additional five Norwegian and three international partners.
TONe includes eight distinct observatories that will provide data that will greatly improve our understanding of:
-key global processes relevant to climate and sea-level change (an ocean observation system in open ocean and one under the Fimbul Ice Shelf)
-atmosphere dynamics (a cloud observatory and an air composition observatory)
-solid earth structure and cryosphere dynamics (a seismic observatory)
-space weather dynamics (an infrasound and an ionosphere observatories)
-the effects of global changes on marine ecosystems (a seabird observatory)
TONe also includes a drone service that will collect data over large parts of DML. Finally, TONe will ensure wide and free access to data from the observatories and drone service to the entire national and international research community, in the interests of serving society globally.
Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are critically important parts of the Earth system. The physical and biological properties here to a large degree control and shape other parts of the Earth through atmospheric, cryospheric and oceanic connections, including sea-level rise.
The Troll Observing Network (TONe) is a comprehensive infrastructure centred around the Norwegian Troll Research Station in Dronning Maud Land. It aims to be an important contribution to global research efforts in this part of Antarctica, closing the data gaps in Antarctic environmental observations and thereby providing key data required to respond to the fundamental societal challenges and uncertainties facing the world today.
More specifically, TONe will develop a state-of-the-art observatory network for environmental observations and provide access to shared services to support collection of data suited for studying and monitoring the atmosphere, terrestrial and marine environment. The observatory network includes an integrated cloud observatory, an atmosphere composition observatory, an infrasound array, an ionospheric observatory, a seismic array, an ice-shelf observatory, a multidisciplinary open ocean moored observatory and a sea-bird monitoring observatory. The shared research services consists of a drone service.
The key aspect of TONe is to ensure wide and free access to the observational data from the observatories and shared services to the entire national and international research community as a basis for new knowledge of societal importance.
TONe users will contribute to answering questions relating to climate change and sea-level change, atmosphere dynamics, solid Earth structure, cryosphere dynamics, space weather effects, robustness of communication networks, quality of weather and climate models, and the effects of global changes on marine ecosystems.