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Image Narration | Intertropical Convergence Zone

HIPPO Principal Investigator Steve Wofsy, narrates this image of the Intertropical Convergence Zone as it is seen from the this picture when the NSF/NCAR GV was approaching the equator.

This photograph was taken from the aircraft as it was approaching the equator. What you seen there is the Intertropical Convergence Zone, where the two hemispheres meet. The southern hemisphere is beyond it, the northern hemisphere is where we’re coming from.

Right along the Intertropical Convergence Zone you see a series of thunderstorms which are basically going twenty-four hours a day and mark the place where the air from the hemispheres meet and ascend up into the middle troposphere, a very important part of the atmosphere. It’s very interesting part to look at to see how the dynamics is actually moving trace gases and water vapor and all of the things that we are interested in from the near surface environment in the tropics into the middle troposphere.

Intertropical Convergence Zone


HIPPO is a landmark study for many reasons, not the least of which is it is the first time scientists have systematically mapped global distribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, covering the full troposphere in all seasons and multiple years.

  • HIPPO I :: 8 January-30 January 2009
  • HIPPO II :: 31 October-22 November 2009
  • HIPPO III :: 24 March-16 April 2010
  • HIPPO IV :: 14 June-11 July 2011
  • HIPPO V :: 9 August-9 September 2011