Scientific information: It is proposed to undertake a two-phase tropical/Antarctic airborne mission with the aim of measuring trace gases and particles in the stratosphere. The tropical phase focuses on turbulent transport of tropospheric air into the stratosphere via tropical cumulonimbi, on stratospheric dehydration, cloud-related stratospheric chemistry, and the origin of the stratospheric background aerosol layer. The Antarctic phase will investigate early formation of polar stratospheric clouds, chemical processing and the role of gravity waves in ozone depletion. The ferry flights, from northern mid-latitudes to the base of the Antarctic phase and to the base of the tropical phase, will allow us to obtain information on global-scale transport across the "sub-tropical mixing barrier". The airborne platforms suggested are a stratospheric high-altitude research aircraft, M-55, reaching up to 21 km, equipped with in situ and remote sensing instrumentation, supported by a pathfinding Falcon research aircraft, flying at 14 km with remote sensing instrumentation. This connection of the tropical and Antarctic phases, together with the combination of the high-flying stratospheric research aircraft and a lower-flying upper tropospheric aircraft, addresses the fundamental mechanisms underlying
- the influence of the processes occurring in the tropical regions on the chemistry of the global stratosphere.
- the downward trend of ozone in the middle latitudes.
- polar ozone depletion.
Support by the EU is sought mainly for the tropical phase, while there already exists almost complete national funding for the Antarctic phase. Note also that the transfer flights from Europe to the tropical base will be largely financed as part of the Antarctic phase.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
141700 Dogoprudny - Moscow
60325 Frankfurt Am-main
106 91 Stockholm
CB2 1EW Cambridge
67010 Coppito L'aquila