Scientists take off on historic mission to measure greenhouse gases that have an impact on climate

January 7, 2009

HIAPER, one of the nation's most advanced research aircraft, is scheduled to embark on an historic mission spanning the globe from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

Starting Jan. 7, 2008, the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) mission 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 ambitious--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. HIAPER's 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 Foundation's 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.

Source: National Science Foundation

Explore further: Scientists look five million years into the past to predict Australia's climate future

Related Stories

Neptune's moon of Triton

July 29, 2015

The planets of the outer solar system are known for being strange, as are their many moons. This is especially true of Triton, Neptune's largest moon. In addition to being the seventh-largest moon in the solar system, it ...

Lobster-Eye imager detects soft X-ray emissions

July 28, 2015

Solar winds are known for powering dangerous space weather events near Earth, which, in turn, endangers space assets. So a large interdisciplinary group of researchers, led by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration ...

Recommended for you

Global index proposed to avoid delays on climate policies

August 4, 2015

Professor David Frame, Director of Victoria's Climate Change Research Institute (CCRI), has co-authored a paper published today in the high profile international scientific journal Nature Climate Change. The paper argues ...

Researchers investigate increased ocean acidification

August 3, 2015

The primary cause of global ocean acidification is the oceanic absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere. Although this absorption helps to mitigate some of the effects of anthropogenic climate change, it has resulted in a reduction ...

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.