A new treasure trove of climate data

2 min read

Data from the HIAPER Pole-to-Pole Observations (HIPPO) study of greenhouse gases and aerosols are now available to the atmospheric research community and the public.

This comprehensive dataset provides the first high-resolution, vertically resolved measurements of over 90 unique atmospheric species collected during a series of nearly pole-to-pole flights over the Pacific Ocean, across all seasons. The suite of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols is pertinent to understanding the carbon cycle and challenging global climate models.

The dataset will provide opportunities for research across a broad spectrum of Earth sciences, including those analyzing the evolution in time and space of the greenhouse gases that affect global climate.

Two websites, created by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Earth Observing Laboratory and the U.S. Depart­ment of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), debuted on November 30, 2012, to serve those interested in acquiring HIPPO data and documentation.

“These highly detailed cross sections are analogous to tomographic images that reveal the inner workings of the atmosphere and the underlying surface,” says principal investigator Steven C. Wofsy, Abbott Lawrence Rotch Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “For many years our team had dreamed of a data set of this kind, and we are delighted that the measurements have now been made and are available to the whole scientific community.”