UCI fields airborne team for NASA atmospheric study

UCI atmospheric chemist Don Blake is about to rack up some serious air miles. As co-principal investigator, along with UCI Earth system scientist Michael Prather, on the upcoming NASA Atmospheric Tomography Mission, Blake will fly from the North Pole to New Zealand, east to the tip of South America, and then north to Greenland. He will lead a team analyzing gases and particles in the atmosphere in an airborne laboratory aboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft. Data from the mission, which runs from July 31 to August 23, complements satellite observations of ozone, carbon dioxide and other major atmospheric gases that have a significant impact on global climate change and air quality. UCI graduate student Nick Vizenor will join Blake on the first four legs of the mission, and graduate student Stacey Hughes will accompany him on the remaining six flights.