Contribution at upcoming AGU Fall Meeting

I will be presenting a paper at the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting as part of the OASIS session A08: Ocean-Atmosphere-Sea Ice-Snow (OASIS) Interactions in Polar Regions: Results From Recent Field Campaigns:

Gregor Kos, Adechina Nafissa, Dwayne Lutchman, Roya Mortazavi, Parisa Ariya
(Semi)volatile Organic Compounds and Microbiological Entities in Snow during OASIS Barrow 2009

Abstract ID 723572
I will not be able to present myself, but one of the co-authors will be there to present the poster.

On my way to Barrow, AK soon …

The last few weeks have been busy – so busy that I was unable to blog about my stay in Barrow, Alaska, which is about to begin on Sunday!

Research near Barrow, Alaska
Research near Barrow, Alaska (from:

I will spend about 4 weeks investigating the snow pack and taking samples to analyse for (semi-)volatile organic compounds. For now I have been preparing instruments and other gear, which is on its way to Barrow as well – although stuck in Memphis, TN to clear Customs. It should arrive at the destination on time! I shipped about 350 kg of gear, a lot of pre-cleaned glass bottles, but also a microscope and impactors for aerosol sampling.

Now I am ready to go and I will write a little more about my research programme in the coming days!

Poster at AGU

0800h: C41C-0540
Snowpack and Air Interactions of (Semi)volatile Organic Compounds at Alert, Nunavut
Kos, G ( and Ariya, PA (, McGill University, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, 805 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H3A 2K6, Canada.

Eighteen different (semi)volatile organic compounds (halogenated, aromatic and oxygenates) were determined in surface snow (0-10~cm) together with concurrent measurements of surface air samples. Subsequently, atmosphere-snow interactions were investigated. Samples were collected in the Canadian Arctic (Alert, Nunavut; 82° 29′ 58″ N, 62° 20′ 05″ W) between May 22 and June 2, 2006 during the snowmelt and rising temperatures. Snow samples analysed on site using solid-phase micro-extraction with gas chromatography and flame ionisation detection (GC/FID) and air samples analysed after transfer to Montreal employing a home-built cryo-trap GC/FID system showed a drop in concentration below the detection limit for a number of compounds (e.g. trichloroethene, benzene) in snow on May 30 that corresponded to a sudden increase in ground ozone concentrations and a shift in the origin auf air masses passing the sampling location 72 hrs prior to the sampling event from polar to South-Westerly source regions. Additionally, the warming of the boundary layer and subsequently the snow pack was accompanied by a transformation from dendritic to highly metamorphous snow. Sorption coefficient were used for the estimation of acetone concentrations in snow from air data and vice versa and comparison with measured values showed discrepancies of up to 3 orders of magnitude, indicating highly non-equilibrium conditions. Attempts were made to evaluate the gas/snow interactions using several thermodynamic calculations, the results of which will be discussed.

Conferences coming up

I will be going and presenting to a few meetings in the coming weeks and months –

AGU Fall meeting 2009/San Francisco (December 2008)

  • I am not going myself, but my coauthor will be presenting a poster

Arctic Change Conference 2008/Quebec City (December 2008)

  • I will be giving a talk focusing on my snow work and volatile organic compounds in session T14.

CMOS Congress 2009/Halifax (June 2009)

  • I will be chairing a session on “Identification and Transformation of Organic and Inorganic Species in the Lower Atmosphere, Snow Pack and Connected Compartments”. More info to come, once the scientific programme is out.

Grant Money!

I have just received a networking grant for two trips (to Vienna, Austria and St. John’s, Newfoundland) in order to visit two atmospheric chemistry research groups. 

Both groups – at Memorial University and the Vienna University of Technology – do fascinating research in the area of bioaerosols, development of monitoring methods and atmosphere – ocean interactions, fields very close or adjacent to my own, which deals with the exchange of volatile organic compounds between snow and the atmosphere. I expect valuable input from both visits and I have also offered to present some of my own work.

For $ 2500.- I will also be able to attend conferences in my field of research. The grant is provided by the Global Environmental Change Centre (<a href=””>GEC3</a>) at McGill University and I am quite happy that I will be able to make those trips.