May 03, 2017 11:49 AM EDT
NASA Greenhouse Gas Research Help Predict Climate Change; Better Understanding Of The Way Greenhouse Gases Impact The Earth [VIDEO]
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made it known that they will measure the levels of greenhouse gases in the air over the mid-Atlantic region through an airplane. The plan of the researchers is to measure the exchange of greenhouse gases that goes on between the vegetation on land and on the air.
The campaign, dubbed as the Carbon Airborne Flux Experiment (CARAFE), will last through the month of May with the goal of giving the researchers a better understanding of the way greenhouse gases would impact the Earth. Particularly, the researchers will look at the exchange process called flux, and collect data to help improve computer models of carbon sinks. Understanding the carbon sinks is the major factor in mapping future climate change.
The space agency divulged that their plan is to fly low and slow, which could give researchers an easier time collecting the measurements they need to learn more about these carbon sinks. The tools attached to the aircraft include a GPS, methane, CO2 analyzers and wind sensor. The instruments will measure both greenhouse gas levels in vertical wind speeds and along tree lines, when combine, it will reveal how fast the gases will transfer to the atmosphere, NASA.GOV reported.
CARAFE Principal Investigator and an expert in carbon modeling, Randy Kawa, stated that they are hoping they will be able to showcase the value of these greenhouse gas measurements. Kawa also said that they want to build a confident image of both methane fluxes and carbon-dioxide, as well as their dependence on underlying biological, chemical, weather, and geological processes. This will allow authorities to make better informed decisions regarding the greenhouse gas policy and impacts, Phys.Org reported.
Nevertheless, NASA chose the mid-Atlantic region of the United States for the reason that the region contains a wide variety of vegetation and soil. Researchers will have a chance to survey marshlands, forests, swamps, bays and rivers during the monthlong study.
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