Steve Wofsy :: Explains the HIPPO Project
Greenhouse Gases - A New Picture of the Atmosphere - HIPPO Project
Ok - What were going to is take this wonderful airplane, which is capable of far and very high and very low, and take a slice out of the atmosphere and see what’s in it. And by looking at that slice of the atmosphere we will try to learn about how the whole globe is working with respect to taking up carbon dioxide, releasing carbon dioxide; same for atmospheric methane, atmospheric nitrous oxide and other important gases in the climate cycle.
So the things that excite me about this project is that it’s the first time that we’ve been able to look in great detail at the whole globe, all at once. Nobody has ever done that. Satellites see the whole globe, but they don’t see it in great detail. This aircraft has the capability, and this team has the capability, to do that in a way that has never been done before, that’s really exciting to me. The importance of the work is that when we finish up, we’ll have a completely new picture about how greenhouse gases are entering the atmosphere and being removed by the atmosphere both by natural processes and by humans.