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Courtesy of NCAR/National Science Foundation
Flying from Pole to Pole to Measure Greenhouse Gases
News story originally written on January 7, 2009
A special airplane is heading into the atmosphere for a special flight. It will be flying from the Arctic to the Antarctic – more than 24,000 miles! Along the way, it will measure the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Scientists have other ways to study the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere too. They take samples of the air at the bottom of the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface and looked at the greenhouse gases in it. They have used satellites to study the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from above. But taking so many measurements from an airplane has not been done before. It will give scientists new data that they can compare with climate models.
The plane is designed for science research. It’s a small jet much like the ones that make short flights between cities. But instead of all the seats that you usually find in planes made for carrying people, this plane is filled with tons of scientific equipment.
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