The polar atmosphere is characterized by high stability and a the strong thermal inversion that occurs in these regions (the temperature increases with increasing altitude with respect to the ground, as opposed to what happens at mid-latitudes), both phenomena are a consequence of the almost perpetually frozen ground that is often covered with snow and ice. This also applies to the frozen surface of the sea, when covered by ice.
Another important element of the polar atmosphere is the presence of the so-called polar vortex, a swirling motion of the air masses around the pole that keeps the cold polar air masses separate from the warmer ones in mid-latitudes.
Knowledge of the thermodynamic characteristics of the polar atmosphere is fundamental studying the biogeochemical cycles of natural species and long-distance transport processes of atmospheric components from populated areas.
The research activities carried out at ISP are aimed to deepen the knowledge of the processes and the interactions between the different components of the climate system, in particular at the interfaces air-snow-soil and air-sea-sea ice.

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   National Research Council
   Institute of Polar Sciences
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