Physical scientists collect data about the world in remarkably varied ways – using atmospheric sampling, ice cores, and fossil records, to name a few. Collecting data in extreme conditions is essential in climate science because climate model output and satellite data are not sufficient to fully understand the complexity of many problems. High, icy cirrus clouds are an example of such a phenomenon. Increasing the number of cirrus that blankets the Earth could amplify the warming of the planet. These clouds create uncertainty in climate change projections. In this talk, I will describe my group’s water vapor and isotope measurements taken aboard specialized high-altitude aircraft. I will show how these data can be used to gain a detailed view of regions high in the atmosphere. Aircraft measurements bridge the gap between local and global processes.

Registration is required.