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

(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 ...

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 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

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

Meet the high-performance single-molecule diode

July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from Berkeley Lab and Columbia University has passed a major milestone in molecular electronics with the creation of the world's highest-performance single-molecule diode. Working at Berkeley Lab's Molecular ...

Researchers build bacteria's photosynthetic engine

July 29, 2015

Nearly all life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy. Oxygen-producing plants and cyanobacteria perfected this process 2.7 billion years ago. But the first photosynthetic ...

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.