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NASA flights to track greenhouse gases across eastern U.S.

Staff Writer | July 9, 2016
This month, NASA begins an airborne experiment to improve scientists' understanding of the sources of two powerful greenhouse gases and how they cycle into and out of the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases
Ecology and science   Understanding the sources of powerful greenhouse gases
Atmospheric Carbon and Transport-America, or ACT-America, is a multi-year airborne campaign that will measure concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane in relation to weather systems.

The study will gather real-time measurements from research aircraft and ground stations to improve the ability to detect and quantify the surface sources and sinks of the gases, NASA said in a statement.

ACT-America flights will be based at three locations across the eastern U.S. to allow scientists to take advantage of the existing detailed information available on meteorology and carbon dioxide and methane distributions.

The first flights will be based out of NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia, and Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia. Subsequent flights this summer will be based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and Shreveport, Louisiana.

This summer's flights are the first of five field campaigns planned during the study, each lasting six weeks.