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Centre for Atmospheric Research Experiments(Egbert, ON)

Centre for Atmospheric Research ExperimentsThe Centre for Atmospheric Research Experiments (CARE) facility is a focal point for atmospheric research into air quality, climatology and meteorology. The Centre is located in a rural agricultural and forested region approximately 80 km north of Toronto.

The rural location enables the scientists to collect data in support of various air quality, meteorological and climate programs where background (non-urban) measurements are needed.

The Centre comprises of a main laboratory building and a secondary “Clean Air” building, situated 100 metres upwind, that contains a glass-sampling manifold and external sampling ports to the roof-top deck to measure ambient levels of particulate matter, acid deposition and toxic chemicals.  Both buildings’ roofs contain air quality and radiation monitoring instruments.

Research Activities

Ozone research balloonCARE is an integrated multidisciplinary facility designed to conduct research on atmospheric issues and to monitor the changing atmosphere.  Representative background air quality measurements and meteorological data are collected for air quality research projects including long-term network measurements, short-term research investigations, and instrument development and testing.  In addition, the Centre hosts many of Environment Canada’s air quality and weather measurement programs as well as those of other organizations and agencies.

Research on atmospheric elements generates new knowledge and technologies to support Canada’s air quality agenda, and guides monitoring to check the effectiveness of air pollutant emission controls and regulations.  

Air Quality Monitoring Networks

The Centre is a base for several monitoring networks linked to national or international programs. Researchers and technicians oversee networks for monitoring atmospheric elements or pollutants collected from the air and precipitation (e.g., rain or snow); specifically:

  • National Air Pollution Surveillance (NAPS) Network
  • Canadian Air & Precipitation Monitoring Network (CAPMoN)
  • Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network for the Great Lakes region (IADN)
  • Canadian Sunphotometry Network

Experimental Studies

ozonode balloonThe Centre provides support for research activities both as an experimental site for national and international weather monitoring programs and for testing new instruments and methods to measure air pollution, climate and weather conditions. It is also used as a staging facility to test and set up instrument packages for deployment to other remote field sites.

Numerous short-term field studies use the site for in site and remote sensing measurements, laboratory facilities and networks for data collection.

Laser Radar Research

Light Detection and Ranging (lidar) lasers measure the chemical composition and concentration of remote objects such as clouds or a plume. The lidar instrument at the Centre not only observes local pollution and smoke from forest fires but has also detected desert dust and smoke from forest fires from other continents.

Collaborative Research

Cooperative research is undertaken with other government departments, other national governments, academic institutions, and industrial experts. Partners include Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the universities of Guelph, McGill, and York.