Scientific Research at the ASRC Whiteface Mountain Field Station

The Atmospheric Sciences Research Center maintains world class research and engineering expertise spanning a wide range of atmospheric science disciplines. Center scientists, facility engineers, and information technology specialists work collaboratively to conduct research, education, and community engagement at the Whiteface Mountain field station. The field station is located in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, and provides unparalleled research facilities to conduct innovative and socially important atmospheric and environmental science research and education. Dig deeper below to learn more about the exciting research being conducted at Whiteface Mountain!

Mesonet site instrumentation at the WFM field station

Mountain Weather & Climate

Mountains shape the weather and climate around them in profound and fascinating ways, affecting regional temperatures, wind, precipitation, and more. By monitoring and understanding mountain weather we can better predict natural hazards, manage natural resources, conserve unique ecosystems, adapt to climate change, and enjoy mountain recreation.

View from the top of Summit Weather Obesrvatory on a hazy day

Atmospheric Aerosols

The study of atmospheric aerosols encompasses almost all areas of atmospheric science, from visibility and visual range, to cloud and precipitation formation, to solar heating of the climate system, as well as atmospheric chemistry and human health effects.

View of the Whiteface Mountain slope on a heavy overcast day

Clouds & Precipitation

Clouds and precipitation are a central part of Earth's water and energy balance, influencing the availability of fresh water over land and the fraction of solar radiation reflected back to space. Clouds and precipitation also play a key role in cleansing the atmosphere, as well as chemical transformations of gases and aerosols. Thus clouds and precipitation are important for understanding weather, air quality, climate, visibility and ecosystem health.

Graphic illustrating the greenhouse effect

Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gases play a critical role in Earth's climatic system by trapping heat radiating off the planet. Measurements at Whiteface Mountain are helping to monitor progress in reducing gases such as CO2 and CH4and identify potential sources.

Picture of the instrumentation to measure reactive trace gases

Reactive Trace Gases

Earth's atmosphere is primarily composed of nitrogen, oxygen, a variable amount of water vapor and a bit of argon. The remaining one tenth of one percent includes a wide range of stable and reactive trace gases that affect the health of ecosystems, human health, atmospheric, precipitation, and water cycle chemistry, chemical weathering processes and climate.