The VOCALS field campaign is studying the ocean, atmosphere, clouds, and land in the Southeast Pacific region to better understand climate.
Windows to the Universe / Lisa Gardiner

What is VOCALS?

What if you wanted to learn more about the climate of a very large area of the world? What would be involved in studying how the oceans, land, and atmosphere interact? You would need to have a team of experts to help you out.

This is exactly what the VAMOS Ocean-Cloud-Atmosphere-Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS) field campaign intends to do! VAMOS stands for Variability of the American Monsoon System. VOCALS is a month long international field experiment focused on learning more about the climate of the South American Continent and the Southeast Pacific Ocean. The VOCALS outdoor laboratory includes the land of subequatorial Peru down to about 35 degrees South in Chile and the Southeast Pacific Ocean out to about 110W. Although slightly outside of this area, Easter Island is also included. This very large area has not been as well studied as the Northern Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. The VOCALS campaign will change that!

You can learn more about climate of the Southeast Pacific with our Flash interactive.

VOCALS will involve 150 scientists, engineers, and technicians from 40 universities and nine countries. New measurements will produce much-needed information about the Southeast Pacific region. VOCALS will collect data from satellites, four aircraft, and two research ships containing scientific instruments. Data will also be collected from ocean buoys and locations in Chile. This data will be used to improve climate models.

Although VOCALS takes place in October 2008, it required many months of planning before it began. And once the data has been collected, the researchers will study it for many years. Come back soon to learn more about their careers and discoveries!

Last modified October 10, 2008 by Julia Genyuk.

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