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

Related Stories

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 ...

Natural ozone changes suggest good news for future

April 28, 2014

(Phys.org) —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 airborne expedition chases climate, ozone questions

June 27, 2007

NASA's Tropical Composition, Cloud and Climate Coupling (TC4) field campaign will begin this summer in San Jose, Costa Rica, with an investigation into how chemical compounds in the air are transported vertically into the ...

NASA carbon counter reaches final orbit, returns data

August 12, 2014

(Phys.org) —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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Reconstructing the sixth century plague from a victim

August 30, 2016

Before the infamous Black Death, the first great plague epidemic was the Justinian plague, which, over the course of two centuries, wiped out up to an estimated 50 million (15 percent) of the world's population throughout ...

Theorists solve a long-standing fundamental problem

August 30, 2016

Trying to understand a system of atoms is like herding gnats - the individual atoms are never at rest and are constantly moving and interacting. When it comes to trying to model the properties and behavior of these kinds ...

The rise and fall of galaxy formation

August 30, 2016

An international team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Eric Persson, has charted the rise and fall of galaxies over 90 percent of cosmic history. Their work, which includes some of the most sensitive astronomical measurements ...

0 comments

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.