Location: 71.323 N 156.611 W Elevation: 11 masl Established: 1973

Facility Web Site:

Facility Operations Contact:
Brian Vasel | brian.vasel@noaa.gov | (303) 497-6655

Facility Research Contact:
Matthew Martinsen | Matthew.Martinsen@noaa.gov | 907-852-6500

Mission: NOAA/ESRL operates staffed atmospheric baseline observatories from which numerous in situ, remote atmospheric, and solar measurements are conducted. The overall scientific programs and administrative functions of the observatories are handled from Boulder, Colorado, with on-site station chiefs caring for day-to-day station activities. Their efforts support global observation and research on atmospheric constituents that drive climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, and baseline air quality.

Facility and Environs: This facility is manned year around by 2 engineers/scientists who often commute to work in winter on snow machines. The Barrow Observatory is host to numerous cooperative research projects from around the world due to its unique location, dedicated and highly trained staff, excellent power, and communications infrastructure. The facility is located so that it receives minimal influence from anthropogenic effects. It is about 8 km northeast of the village of Barrow and has a prevailing east-northeast wind off the Beaufort Sea. It is attended at least 5 days a week for routine inspection and maintenance of the instrumentation. In addition, the National Weather Service (NWS) maintains a weather observing facility in Barrow. Although the measurements at Barrow are made over open tundra, there are large lagoons and a number of lakes in the vicinity, and the Arctic Ocean is less than 3 km northwest of the site. Because of its proximity to these bodies of water and the fact that the prevailing winds are off the Beaufort Sea, BRW is perhaps best characterized as having an Arctic maritime climate affected by variations of weather and sea ice conditions in the Central Arctic.

GMD Tower
BSRN Radiation Rack