Scientists take off on mission to measure climate impacting greenhouse gases

January 8th, 2009 - 3:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 8 (ANI): A team of scientists has taken off on an advanced research aircraft on an historic mission spanning the globe from the Arctic to the Antarctic, to measure greenhouse gases that have an impact on climate.

Known as the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) mission, it will cover more than 24,000 miles as an international team of scientists makes a series of five flights over the next three years, sampling the atmosphere in some of the most inaccessible regions of the world.

The goal of the mission is the first-ever, global, real-time sampling of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses across a wide range of altitudes in the atmosphere, literally from pole-to-pole.

To date, much of our understanding of global atmospheric greenhouse gasses has been acquired from distant satellites, balloon launches, or highly sophisticated supercomputer models.

HIAPERs pole-to-pole mission will, for the first time, give scientists real-time global observation data to correlate with those climate models.

HIAPER is short for the National Science Foundations High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platfrom for Environmental Research.

A modified Gulfstream V jet, it can fly at high altitudes for extended periods of time and can carry 5,600 pounds of sensing equipment, making it a premier aircraft for scientific discovery. (ANI)

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