The Zeppelin Observatory in Ny-Ålesund

The unique location of the Zeppelin Observatory makes it an ideal place for monitoring global atmospheric gasses and long-transported contaminants. The Observatory is located on the Zeppelin Mountain, in an untouched Arctic environment, far away from substantial contamination sources. Due to the dominating meteorological conditions here, interference from local pollution is minimal.

The Zeppelin Observatoriet in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

The Zeppelin Observatory is a national infrastructure for atmospheric research and monitoring. Photo: Ove Hermansen / Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)

Main focus areas

  • Research on long-transported atmospheric contaminants. This includes (among others):
    • greenhouse gases
    • ozone
    • persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
    • aerosols
    • environmental toxins
  • Characteristics of the Arctic atmosphere and studies of atmospheric processes and changes.
  • Measurements aimed at increasing the understanding of feedbacks between aerosols, clouds and radiation, and how these affect the Arctic climate.


A substantial amount of parameters are continually monitored at the Zeppelin Observatory.

The Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU) and Stockholm University (SU) also offer their own overviews:

See also our overview of  scientific publications using data from the Zeppelin Observatory.

Atmospheric research in Ny-Ålesund

The Zeppelin Observatory belongs to a group of very important global observatories for atmospheric measurements, and is part of several regional and global monitoring networks, such as:

The atmospheric research in Ny-Ålesund is coordinated in the Atmosphere Research Flagship programme as part of the Ny-Ålesund Science Managers Committee (NySMAC) science plan. The flagship programme aims to establish a unique international long-term atmospheric monitoring and observation platform supported by all research institutions represented in Ny-Ålesund.

The flagship document also include appendices which give an overview of other atmospheric stations and atmospheric parameters measured in Ny-Ålesund:


Radiation station at the Zeppelin Observatory

The Norwegian Polar Institute's radiation station at the Zeppelin Observatory has been measuring infrared and visible solar irradiance since 2012. Photo: Vittorio Tulli

The Zeppelin Observatory has several air inlets, and also meteorological instruments, radiation instruments and other samplers mounted on the roof.

The building itself consists of several rooms, where the users keep their instruments. One room, «the campaign-room», is reserved for project-based measurement campaigns.

If you have questions regarding using the Zeppelin Observatory for performing measurements, please contact:

  • , eller

Your request should include a completed registration form (PDF 0.1MB).