Science has changed a lot over the years here at Macca. Over winter it is now largely automated projects, requiring only that regular checks be done by either Comms or Met to make sure everything is running smoothly and sending the required information back to wherever it needs to go in the world. As a guesstimate about 25% of our current internet bandwidth is used for this background traffic.
The clean air lab is a little wooden building at the southern end of the station that is one of the places where this science technology now lives. There are multiple projects going on here that our Met staff keep tabs on.
One of these is a CSIRO project that samples the air to monitor greenhouse gases, as the Antarctic region is well located to measure global background changes in these gases. The CSIRO background air monitoring network is the most comprehensive and long-running in the southern hemisphere.
From Macquarie Island they sample at a rate of approx one cylinder per week, so that’s 52 very carefully packed samples that need to be sent home at the end of the year for further analysis.