Meteorology and Climate

Local meteorology drives and shapes all ecological systems. One of the first objectives of the McMurdo LTER was to establish a meteorological network that would gather representative weather data year-round from the dry valleys. The McMurdo LTER Automatic Weather Network (LAWN) now consists of 14 permanent stations. Stations are operational in Beacon Valley, Explorer's Cove, on the shores of Lakes Fryxell, Hoare, Bonney, Brownsworth, Vida and Vanda, and on the Commonwealth, Howard, Canada and Taylor glaciers. Stations sample sensors every 30 seconds and send summary statistics (averages, maximums, minimums etc.) to solid-state storage modules every 15 minutes. These storage modules are downloaded during the austral summer season and the data are added to the database once a year immediately following the field season.