Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometres, it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest and windiest continent, has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Most of Antarctica is a polar desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm along the coast and far less inland; the temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2 °C, though the average for the third quarter is −63 °C. Anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, fungi, plants and certain animals, such as mites, penguins and tardigrades.
Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra. Antarctica is noted as the last region on Earth in recorded history to be discovered, unseen until 1820 when the Russian expedition of Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev on Vostok and Mirny sighted the Fimbul ice shelf; the continent, remained neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of accessible resources, isolation. In 1895, the first confirmed. Antarctica is a de facto condominium, governed by parties to the Antarctic Treaty System that have consulting status. Twelve countries signed the Antarctic Treaty in 1959, thirty-eight have signed it since then; the treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, prohibits nuclear explosions and nuclear waste disposal, supports scientific research, protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists from many nations; the name Antarctica is the romanised version of the Greek compound word ἀνταρκτική, feminine of ἀνταρκτικός, meaning "opposite to the Arctic", "opposite to the north".
Aristotle wrote in his book Meteorology about an Antarctic region in c. 350 BC Marinus of Tyre used the name in his unpreserved world map from the 2nd century CE. The Roman authors Hyginus and Apuleius used for the South Pole the romanised Greek name polus antarcticus, from which derived the Old French pole antartike attested in 1270, from there the Middle English pol antartik in a 1391 technical treatise by Geoffrey Chaucer. Before acquiring its present geographical connotations, the term was used for other locations that could be defined as "opposite to the north". For example, the short-lived French colony established in Brazil in the 16th century was called "France Antarctique"; the first formal use of the name "Antarctica" as a continental name in the 1890s is attributed to the Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew. The long-imagined south polar continent was called Terra Australis, sometimes shortened to'Australia' as seen in a woodcut illustration titled Sphere of the winds, contained in an astrological textbook published in Frankfurt in 1545.
Although the longer Latin phrase was better known, the shortened name Australia was used in Europe's scholarly circles. In the nineteenth century, the colonial authorities in Sydney removed the Dutch name from New Holland. Instead of inventing a new name to replace it, they took the name Australia from the south polar continent, leaving it nameless for some eighty years. During that period, geographers had to make do with clumsy phrases such as "the Antarctic Continent", they searched for a more poetic replacement, suggesting various names such as Antipodea. Antarctica was adopted in the 1890s. Antarctica has no indigenous population, there is no evidence that it was seen by humans until the 19th century. However, in February 1775, during his second voyage, Captain Cook called the existence of such a polar continent "probable" and in another copy of his journal he wrote:" believe it and it's more than probable that we have seen a part of it". However, belief in the existence of a Terra Australis—a vast continent in the far south of the globe to "balance" the northern lands of Europe and North Africa—had prevailed since the times of Ptolemy in the 1st century AD.
In the late 17th century, after explorers had found that South America and Australia were not part of the fabled "Antarctica", geographers believed that the continent was much larger than its actual size. Integral to the story of the origin of Antarctica's name is that it was not named Terra Australis—this name was given to Australia instead, because of the misconception that no significant landmass could exist further south. Explorer Matthew Flinders, in particular, has been credited with popularising the transfer of the name Terra Australis to Australia, he justified the titling of his book A Voyage to Terra Australis by writing in the introduction: There is no probability, that any other detached body of land, of nearly equal extent, will be found in a more southern latitude.
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa. A common misconception is; this misconception was based on the misbelief that the Cape was the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Contemporary geographic knowledge instead states the southernmost point of Africa is Cape Agulhas about 150 kilometres to the east-southeast; the currents of the two oceans meet at the point where the warm-water Agulhas current meets the cold-water Benguela current and turns back on itself. That oceanic meeting point fluctuates between Cape Point; when following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. Thus, the first modern rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts by the Portuguese to establish direct trade relations with the Far East. Dias called the cape Cabo das Tormentas, the original name of the "Cape of Good Hope".
As one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean, the Cape of Good Hope has long been of special significance to sailors, many of whom refer to it as "the Cape". It is a waypoint on the Cape Route and the clipper route followed by clipper ships to the Far East and Australia, still followed by several offshore yacht races; the term Cape of Good Hope is used in three other ways: It is a section of the Table Mountain National Park, within which the cape of the same name, as well as Cape Point, falls. Prior to its incorporation into the national park, this section constituted the Cape Point Nature Reserve, it was the name of the early Cape Colony established by the Dutch on the Cape Peninsula. Just before the Union of South Africa was formed, the term referred to the entire region that in 1910 was to become the Cape of Good Hope Province. Eudoxus of Cyzicus was a Greek navigator for Ptolemy VIII, king of the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, who found the wreck of a ship in the Indian Ocean that appeared to have come from Gades, rounding the Cape.
When Eudoxus was returning from his second voyage to India, the wind forced him south of the Gulf of Aden and down the coast of Africa for some distance. Somewhere along the coast of East Africa, he found the remains of the ship. Due to its appearance and the story told by the natives, Eudoxus concluded that the ship was from Gades and had sailed anti-clockwise around Africa, passing the Cape and entering the Indian Ocean; this inspired him to attempt a circumnavigation of the continent. Organising the expedition on his own account he set sail from Gades and began to work down the African coast; the difficulties were too great, he was obliged to return to Europe. After this failure he again set out to circumnavigate Africa, his eventual fate is unknown. Although some, such as Pliny, claimed that Eudoxus did achieve his goal, the most probable conclusion is that he perished on the journey. In the 1450 Fra Mauro map, the Indian Ocean is depicted as connected to the Atlantic. Fra Mauro puts the following inscription by the southern tip of Africa, which he names the "Cape of Diab", describing the exploration by a ship from the East around 1420: "Around 1420 a ship, or junk, from India crossed the Sea of India towards the Island of Men and the Island of Women, off Cape Diab, between the Green Islands and the shadows.
It sailed for 40 days in a south-westerly direction without finding anything other than wind and water. According to these people themselves, the ship went some 2,000 miles ahead until - once favourable conditions came to an end - it turned round and sailed back to Cape Diab in 70 days". "The ships called junks that navigate these seas carry four masts or more, some of which can be raised or lowered, have 40 to 60 cabins for the merchants and only one tiller. They can navigate without a compass, because they have an astrologer, who stands on the side and, with an astrolabe in hand, gives orders to the navigator". Fra Mauro explained that he obtained the information from "a trustworthy source", who traveled with the expedition the Venetian explorer Niccolò da Conti who happened to be in Calicut, India at the time the expedition left: "What is more, I have spoken with a person worthy of trust, who says that he sailed in an Indian ship caught in the fury of a tempest for 40 days out in the Sea of India, beyond the Cape of Soffala and the Green Islands towards west-southwest.
Thus one can believe and confirm what is said by both these and those, that they had therefore sailed 4,000 miles". Fra Mauro comments that the account of the expedition, together with the relation by Strabo of the travels of Eudoxus of Cyzicus from Arabia to Gibraltar through the southern Ocean in Antiquity, led him to believe that the Indian Ocean was not a closed sea and that Africa could be circumnavigated by her southern end; this knowledge, together with the map depiction of the African continent encouraged the Portuguese to intensify their effort to round the tip of Africa. I
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the hiking to the top; the mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Table Mountain is home to a large array of fauna and flora, most of, endemic; the main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau three kilometres from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil's Peak to the east and by Lion's Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town; this broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear's Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey, it is 1,086 metres above sea level, about 19 metres higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.
The cliffs of the main plateau are split by Platteklip Gorge, which provides an easy and direct ascent to the summit and was the route taken by António de Saldanha on the first recorded ascent of the mountain in 1503. The flat top of the mountain is covered by orographic clouds, formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain's slopes into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form the so-called "table cloth" of cloud. Legend attributes this phenomenon to a smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks; when the table cloth is seen, it symbolizes the contest. Table Mountain is at the northern end of a sandstone mountain range that forms the spine of the Cape Peninsula that terminates 50 kilometres to the south at the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. To the south of Table Mountain is a rugged "plateau" at a somewhat lower elevation than the Table Mountain Plateau, called the "Back Table"; the "Back Table" extends southwards for 6 km to the Constantia Nek-Hout Bay valley.
The Atlantic side of the Back Table, is known as the Twelve Apostles, which extends from Kloof Nek to Hout Bay. The eastern side of this portion of the Peninsula's mountain chain, extending from Devil's Peak, the eastern side of Table Mountain, the Back Table to Constantia Nek, does not have single name, as on the western side, it is better known by the names of the conservation areas on its lower slopes: Groote Schuur Estate, Newlands Forest, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cecilia Park, Constantia Nek. The upper 600-metre portion of the one-kilometre-high table-topped mountain, or mesa, consists of 450-510 million years old rocks belonging to the two lowermost layers of the Cape Fold Mountains; the uppermost, younger of the two layers, consists of hard quartzitic sandstone referred to as "Table Mountain Sandstone", or "Peninsula Formation Sandstone", resistant to erosion and forms characteristic steep grey crags. The 70-metre-thick lower layer, known as the "Graafwater Formation", consists of distinctively maroon-colored mudstones, which were laid down in much thinner horizontal strata than the Table Mountain Sandstone strata above it.
The Graafwater rocks can best be seen just above the contour path on the front of Table Mountain, around Devils Peak. They can been seen in the cutting along Chapman's Peak Drive; these rocks are believed to have originated in shallow tidal flats, in which a few Ordovician fossils, fossil tracks have been preserved. The overlying TMS arose in deeper water, either as a result of subsidence, or a rise in the sea level; the Graafwater rocks rest on the basement consisting of Cape Granite. Devil's Peak, Signal Hill, the City Bowl and much of the "Cape Flats", rest on folded and altered phyllites and hornfelses known informally as the Malmesbury shales; the Cape Granite and Malmesbury shales form the lower, gentler slopes of the Table Mountain range on the Cape Peninsula. They are of late Precambrian age; the basement rocks are not nearly as resistant to weathering as the TMS, but significant outcrops of the Cape Granite are visible on the western side of Lion's Head, elsewhere on the Peninsula. The weathered granite soil of the lower slopes of the Peninsula Mountain range are more fertile than the nutrient-poor soils derived from TMS.
Most of the vineyards found on the Cape Peninsula are therefore found on these granitic slopes of the Table Mountain range. The mountain owes it table-top flatness to the fact that it is a syncline mountain, meaning that it once was the bottom of a valley; the anticline, or highest point of the series of folds that Table Mountain was once part of, lay to the east, but, weathered away, together with the underlying softer Malmesbury shale and granite basement, to form the "Cape Flats". The "Cape Flats" form the isthmus; the Fold Mountains reappear as the Hottentots-Holland Mountain range on the mainland side of the "Cape Flats". What has added to the mountain's table-top flatness is that it consists of the hard, lower layer of the Table Mountain Sandstone Formation; this was topped by a thin glacial tillite layer, known as the Pakhuis Formation (see
Bakau is a town on the Atlantic coast of Gambia, west of Gambia's capital city of Banjul. It is known for its botanical gardens, its crocodile pool Bakau Kachikally and for the beaches at Cape Point. Bakau is the most developed town in the Gambia. Close to Bakau and Banjul is Serekunda. Legend has it that Bakau grew up around the holy crocodile pool in Kachikally, the central district of Bakau. Bakau itself was a small village at the turn of the 19th century and grew in importance as it became a favourite place for private residences of colonial administrators along the beautiful palm fringed beaches. Despite being a major town, the old village still exists and is run like any other in the Gambia, with an'Alkali' and divided into Kabilos. There exists a much smaller village within the old village called Bakau Wasulung Kunda, indicating the migrant origins of its inhabitants; as people began to move out of Banjul, government allocated residential areas sprang around the old village, acquiring new names in the process.
What were farms of the local population became well planned suburbs filled with bungalows, such as Fajara, New Town, Cape Point, Mile7 and Farrowkono Tourism is the most important business activity in Bakau providing a lot of employment, as well as income for the municipal authority. At Cape Point there are a few hotels on a beach, arguably superior to the main Atlantic ocean beach, home to most of the hotels in the country. In town there are a few guest houses. There is a major market along the main road famous for its fruit and vegetables. Most banks have branches there and several companies maintain offices there. Fishing is another major business activity and there is a fishing port by the town beach, together with a wharf where a market attracts many visitors. One of the few ice plants in the country is located there. Gardening is another major business activity in which the local women are engaged on for livehood; the town has lots of shops, selling different types of products and services along the Sait Matty Road.
Afrinat International Airlines had its head office in Bakau. Bakau Primary School NewTown Primary School Marina International Scholl West African International School Gambia Methodist Academy American International School Glory Baptist Senior Secondary School Bakau Upper Basic School Presidents' Awards Scheme Katchikally Nursery School Bakau is the most developed settlement in the Gambia, with excellent communication facilities. Only the major roads are paved and the rate of electricity connection is universal. There are a few guest houses; the only national Stadium, The Independence Stadium, is located here. The national broadcaster, Radio Gambia, is located in Bakau at its Mile 7 studios. UN country headquarters is located here with different foreign embassies. There is a large military camp, a police barracks and a fire brigade. Kachikally Museum and Crocodile Pool Botanical Gardens Fajara Hotel Ocean bay Hotel African Village Hotel Cape Point Hotel SunBeach Hotel The Garden Guest House Bakau Basketball Academy Swedish and Norwegian Councillor Independence Stadium Rock Heights Njogu Demba-Nyrén, footballer Kekuta Manneh, footballer Amadou Sanyang, footballer Sherif Bojang, Minister for information and communication Lamin Jallow, footballer Momodou Jallow, Swedish Parliamentarian Basiru Jawara, Business tycoon Bakau Hotels, Photos and Map Bakau is linked to Kings Langley, a village in Hertfordshire, UK
Brown fur seal
The brown fur seal known as the Cape fur seal, South African fur seal, Australian fur seal, is a species of fur seal. The brown fur seal is the most robust fur seal, it turned up slightly. They have external ear flaps and their whiskers are long, may extend backward past the pinnae in adult males; the fore flippers are covered with sparse hair over about three-quarters of their length. The hind flippers are short relative with short, fleshy tips on the digits; the size and weight of the brown fur seal depends on the subspecies. The Southern African subspecies is on average larger than the Australian subspecies. Males of the African subspecies weigh 200 -- 300 kg. Females are smaller, averaging 1.8 m in length and weighing 120 kg. Males of the Australian subspecies weigh 190 -- 280 kg. Females weigh 36 -- 110 kilograms. Adult male brown fur seals are dark gray to brown, with a darker mane of short, coarse hairs and a light belly, while adult females are light brown to gray, with a light throat and darker back and belly.
The fore flippers of the fur seal are dark brown to black. Pups are born molt to gray with a pale throat within 3-5 months; the skull of the African subspecies has a larger crest between the mastoid process and the jugular process of the exoccipital. The African fur seal lives around the southern and southwestern coast of Africa from Cape Cross in Namibia and around the Cape of Good Hope to Black Rocks near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape province; the Australian fur seal lives in Bass Strait, at four islands off Victoria in southeastern Australia, five islands off Tasmania. Brown fur seals prefer to haul out and breed on rocky islands, rock ledges and reefs, pebble and boulder beaches. However, some large colonies can be found on sandy beaches. Fur seals are never too far from land, they have been recorded 160 km from land. The African fur seal's diet is made of up to 70% fish, 20% squid, 2% crab. Eaten are other crustaceans and sometimes birds. In rare instances, they have been documented attacking and eating sharks.
A recent incident occurred off Cape Point, South Africa, where a large male was observed attacking and killing five blue sharks between 1.0 and 1.4 m long. Observers concluded that the seal killed the sharks to eat the fish-rich contents of their stomachs, as well as their livers as a source of energy; the Australian fur seal eats squid, octopus and lobsters. The brown fur seal dives for its food; the African subspecies can dive as deep for as long as 7.5 minutes. The Australian subspecies feeds at lower depths, diving on average 120 m and can reach as deep as 200 m; the brown fur seal's main predator is the great white shark, although they are preyed upon by various other animals, such as killer whales and vagrant southern elephant seals. Land-based predators include brown hyenas on the Skeleton Coast in Namibia. In False Bay, the seals employ a number of antipredatory strategies while in shark-infested waters, such as: Swimming in large groups and harassing sharks in the vicinity Low porpoising to increase subsurface vigilance Darting in different directions to cause confusion when attacked Using their greater agility to stay out of reach Riding near the dorsal fin to keep out of reach of the shark's jaws when attacked Australian fur seals are social animals that use vocalizations in a broad range of contexts.
These vocalizations have been shown to contain individually unique properties important for enabling individual recognition. This is important for the reunion of mothers and pups that experience repeated separations whilst mothers are out at sea foraging, sometimes for days at a time. Upon their return, mothers need to locate their pups; this reunion process may be facilitated through a combination of smell and spatial cues. In males, increases in testosterone and calling rates are seen in conjunction with the onset of the breeding season. Males can differentiate neighboring males from stranger males, responding more aggressively to the vocalizations of strangers; this difference in response is suspected because the threat posed by a stranger is unknown and greater than their neighbor, which they would have encountered while establishing their territories. Brown fur seals gather into colonies on rookeries in numbers ranging from 500–1500, at least for the Australian subspecies. While fur seals spend most of the year at sea, they never evacuate the rookeries, as mothers and pups return to them throughout the year.
No dispersal from a colony is established, although some fur seals from one colony have been found at another. True boundaries do not exist between the colonies; when at sea, they travel in small feeding groups. Brown fur seals begin to breed in the middle of October, when males haul out on shore to establish territories though display, vocalisations and sometimes actual combat, they do not eat until after mating in November or December. When the females arrive, they fight among themselves for territories in. Female territories are always located within them. Females within a male's territory can be considered part of his harem. However, males do not herd the females, which are free to choose their mates and judge them based o
The Benguela Current is the broad, northward flowing ocean current that forms the eastern portion of the South Atlantic Ocean gyre. The current extends from Cape Point in the south, to the position of the Angola-Benguela front in the north, at around 16°S; the current is driven by the prevailing south easterly trade winds. Inshore of the Benguela Current proper, the south easterly winds drive coastal upwelling, forming the Benguela Upwelling System; the cold, nutrient rich waters that upwell from around 200–300 m depth in turn fuel high rates of phytoplankton growth, sustain the productive Benguela ecosystem. Source waters for the Benguela include cold upwelled waters from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean close inshore, joined further off-shore by nutrient poor water that has crossed the Southern Atlantic from South America as part of South Atlantic Gyre. Eddies from the warm South Indian Ocean Agulhas current along South Africa's east coast do round the Cape of Good Hope from time to time to join the Bengulela current.
The Benguela current widens further as it flows north and northwest. Its western, seaward edge meanders. There is however a well-defined thermal front between the waters associated with the Benguela Upwelling System and those of the eastward flowing Atlantic currents which are not deflected northward by the African continent; the icy Benguela and the warm, south-flowing Agulhas current do not meet off the Cape of Good Hope, but there is a body of water off the South African south coast and west of Cape Agulhas that consists of eddies from both currents, so that off-shore water temperatures along the south coast of Africa vary chaotically. Northward winds along the coast result in Ekman transport offshore and upwelling of nutrient rich deep water to the euphotic zone; the intensity of the upwelling event is determined by wind strength. Variations in wind strength cause pulses of upwelling, which propagate to the south along the coast with speeds of 5 to 8 m/s; the pulses are similar to a Kelvin wave, except on a scale of 30 to 60 km instead of 1000 km, can propagate around the cape depending on wind systems.
Pulses of upwelling induce biological production. In the Benguela system, phytoplankton growth requires a period of upwelling followed by a period of stratification and calm waters; the phytoplankton bloom lags the upwelling event by 1 to 4 days and blooms for 4 to 10 days. In order for zooplankton to have a continuous food supply, the phytoplankton blooms must not occur too far apart. Pulses of upwelling in the Benguela system have a duration of 10 days, an optimal period for biological production, it is estimated that the annual new production in the Benguela system is 4.7 × 10^13 gC/y, making the Benguela system 30 to 65 times more productive per unit area than the global ocean average. While upwelling promotes abundant primary and secondary production in the upper parts of the water column and near the coast, deeper waters with limited oxygen exchange create hypoxic areas called oxygen minimum zones at the coastal shelf and upper coastal slope; the Benguela oxygen minimum zone is a few hundred meters thick.
Bacteria that use sulpher rather than oxygen reside in the oxygen minimum zone. The most abundant fishes in the Benguela system are Engraulis. Sardinops ocelata was intensely fished beginning in the 1950s and peaking in 1968 with landings over 1.3 million tons. Since the Sardinops fishery has declined and the Engraulis capensis fishery has taken over. Similar to the Pacific El Niño, a thick slab of warm, nutrient poor water enters the northern part of the Benguela upwelling system off the Namibia coast about once per decade. During the Benguela Niño, salty waters from the Angola Current move southward, from 15°S to as far as 25°S; this slab of warm salty water extends to 50 m depth. Heavy rains, changes in fish abundance, temporal proximity to the Pacific El Niño have been observed. One research team has shown that the Benguela Niño is caused by winds in the west-central equatorial Atlantic Ocean that propagate as subsurface sea temperature anomalies to the African coast. A recent study has demonstrated the importance of local winds in the development of the Benguela Niño off the coast of Namibia and Angola.
This local process together with the remote signal from the equatorial regions form the basis of the formation mechanism in which both processes sometimes reinforce each other. Cape Peninsula Cape Point Humboldt Current, the Benguela's analogue in the South Pacific Ocean Benguela current Hydrogen Sulfide and Dust Plumes along the Coast of Namibia - Earth Observatory August 10, 2010
Global Atmosphere Watch
The Global Atmosphere Watch is a worldwide system established by the World Meteorological Organization – a United Nations agency – to monitor trends in the Earth's atmosphere. It arose out of concerns for the state of the atmosphere in the 1960s; the Global Atmosphere Watch's mission is quite straightforward, consisting of three concise points: To make reliable, comprehensive observations of the chemical composition and selected physical characteristics of the atmosphere on global and regional scales. The GAW program is guided by 8 strategic goals: To improve the measurements programme for better geographical and temporal coverage and for near real-time monitoring capability. Moreover, the programme seeks not only to understand changes in the Earth's atmosphere, but to forecast them, control the human activities that cause them; the original reason for testing the atmosphere for trace chemicals was mere scientific interest, but of course, many scientists wondered what effects these trace chemicals could have on the atmosphere, on life.
The GAW's genesis began as far back as the 1950s when the World Meteorological Organization began a programme of monitoring the atmosphere for trace chemicals, researching air pollution from a meteorological point of view. They were responsible for monitoring ozone, establishing the Global Ozone Observing System in 1957, in the International Geophysical Year. In 1968, the United Nations called for an international conference to address world environmental problems caused by rapid industrialization. At about this time, the World Meteorological Organization set up another environmental research body, the Background Air Pollution Monitoring Network; the conference was held in Stockholm in 1972, addressed several environmental concerns, namely: The threat posed to the atmosphere by chlorofluorocarbons. Indeed, it was the World Meteorological Organization's readings and observations that figured prominently at this conference, they had little good news to offer. The GAW itself was created in 1989 by combining the GO3OS and the Background Air Pollution Monitoring Network.
The GAW consists of a worldwide system of observing stations and supporting facilities providing data for atmospheric assessments, serving as an early warning system for chemical or physical changes in the Earth's atmosphere which could be cause for environmental concern. Such changes might involve a change in ozone, therefore ultraviolet, levels of greenhouse gases, or precipitation chemistry, the culprit in the world's acid rain woes; the GAW consists of a coordinated system of various components, prominent among which are: measurement stations. More than 65 countries host and operate the GAW's global or regional measurement stations. There are "contributing stations" that furnish additional data. Satellite programmes have become important to the GAW, providing atmospheric data that complement ground measurements; these have the job of ensuring that all data produced by the system measure up to international standards. This is achieved by assuring a rigorous adherence to standards established by scientific advisory groups and a strict enforcement of world calibration standards.
A number of programmes such as education, calibration station visits and so on are provided within the GAW programme to enhance the performance of the human component of the GAW. This has become important in recent years as quite a number of stations are now operating in developing countries where further education is a luxury enjoyed only by a small élite; the Global Atmosphere Watch has six World Data Centres, each administered by its host nation, each responsible for gathering and storing atmospheric data from measurement stations worldwide, making it available to scientists in a number of different forms. The six data centres are: The World Ozone and UV radiation Data Centre, hosted by Environment Canada; the World Data Centre for Greenhouse Gases, hosted by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The World Data Centre for Aerosols, hosted by the Norwegian Institute for Air Research; the World Radiation Data Centre, hosted by the Main Geophysical Observatory, St Petersburg The World Data Centre for Precipitation Chemistry hosted by the Illinois State Water Survey The World Data Centre for Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, hosted by the German Aerospace Centre.
Scientific Advisory Groups have the job of implementing the GAW programme. This includes establishing data quality objectives and standard operating procedures, providing guidelines and recommendations for achieving these things. Measurement methods and procedures fall within the SAGs' domain, they are charged with promoting twinning and training in developing countries. Glob