CoMet (Carbon Dioxide and Methane Mission) research flight took place over Finland on May 28, 2018. This was the first greenhouse gas mission over Finland on HALO (the High Altitude LOng Range) research aircraft by the German Aerospace Center, DLR.

HALO aircraft is unique as it is able to fly as high as 15 km, which is about 7 km more than a typical research aircraft flight altitude. The flight took off near Munich, Germany on Monday morning and landed after performing an 8.5 hour research flight. During the flight measurements of the two most important greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide and methane — were performed on board the research aircraft, using novel research methods.

HALO measurements over Finland included vertical profiling above the research site of the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Sodankylä. The airborne measurements were collocated with ground based and satellite borne observations.

“The ground based measurements in Finland included Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) and novel AirCore measurements of CO2 and CH4 above the Sodankylä research site. Collocated measurements by five different ground based solar spectrometers were performed in Sodankylä in collaboration with international research partners,” says Rigel Kivi, Senior Scientist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The FTS instrument in Sodankylä is participating in the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON).

Accurate measurements on various platforms are essential in order to obtain detailed understanding of the sources and sinks of the key greenhouse gases. Through analyzing the measured data, scientists obtain new knowledge on the global distribution and temporal variation of the greenhouse gases. These new findings will be utilized for predicting future climate change and assessing its impact.

The relevant greenhouse gas satellite missions currently include recently launched European Space Agency’s S5P TROPOMI mission, NASA’s OCO-2, GOSAT from Japan and TanSat from China.

More information:

  • Senior Scientist Rigel Kivi, tel. 0295392728, rigel.kivi@fmi.fi
  • Head of Group (Greenhouse Gases and Satellite Methods) Hannakaisa Lindqvist, hannakaisa.lindqvist@fmi.fi
  • Head of Group (Greenhouse Gases) Tuomas Laurila