NASA explores Earth's upper atmosphere

January 24, 2006

NASA scientists are conducting field experiments to more closely explore the Earth's upper atmosphere to better predict future climate changes.

The experiments are being conducted at an altitude of about 54,000 feet, a few miles higher than commercial aircraft can fly and one of the main pathways where the lower part of the atmosphere, known as the troposphere, flows into the stratosphere.

High-altitude flights by a NASA aircraft based in Costa Rica during the month-long field campaign are being coordinated with the orbits of Aura, NASA's latest Earth-observing spacecraft.

Launched in 2004, Aura helps scientists understand how atmospheric composition affects and responds to Earth's changing climate. The satellite helps to reveal the processes that connect local and global air quality, and also monitors the condition of the Earth's protective ozone layer.

The new Costa Rica Aura Validation Experiment is tackling some of the remaining puzzles about how ozone-destroying chemicals get into the stratosphere and how high-altitude clouds affect the flow of one of the most powerful greenhouse gases -- water -- into the critical region.

The project is an integrated science and satellite validation campaign sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers measure ozone-depleting bromine

Related Stories

Researchers measure ozone-depleting bromine

September 10, 2014

How much does bromine affect stratospheric ozone? Answering this question is the primary objective of measurements by a multi-instrument gondola carried by a high-altitude balloon. The gondola accommodates a unique combination ...

NASA carbon counter reaches final orbit, returns data

August 12, 2014

( —Just over a month after launch, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2)—NASA's first spacecraft dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide—has maneuvered into its final operating orbit and produced ...

Natural ozone changes suggest good news for future

April 28, 2014

( —New NASA research on natural ozone cycles suggests ozone levels in the lowest part of Earth's atmosphere probably won't be affected much by projected future strengthening of the circulating winds that transport ...

NASA keeps eye on ozone layer amid Montreal Protocol's success

September 14, 2007

NASA scientists will join researchers from around the world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to reduce the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer. The United Nations ...

Recommended for you

Mexican site yields new details of sacrifice of Spaniards

October 9, 2015

Excavations at the site of one of the Spanish conquistadors' worst defeats in Mexico are yielding new evidence about what happened when the two cultures clashed—and a native people, at least temporarily, was in control.

ZomBee Watch helps scientists track honeybee killer

October 9, 2015

While scientists have documented cases of tiny flies infesting honeybees, causing the bees to lurch and stagger around like zombies before they die, researchers don't know the scope of the problem.

Using optical fiber to generate a two-micron laser

October 9, 2015

Lasers with a wavelength of two microns could move the boundaries of surgery and molecule detection. Researchers at EPFL have managed to generate such lasers using a simple and inexpensive method.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.