ARL Weekly News – January 14, 2022

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Greenhouse Gas Measurement Flights Resume

In collaboration with their colleagues from University of Maryland, ARL’s Phil Stratton and Xinrong Ren will be involved in some research flights starting in late January to investigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the Baltimore‐Washington area. The University Research Foundation’s Cessna 402B research aircraft will be flying over the Baltimore-Washington area to measure carbon dioxide, methane, meteorological variables, and other air pollutants.

Top‐down GHG emissions will be estimated based on the mass balance approach and will be compared to the emission inventories. The aircraft data will also be used for inverse modeling. Results from this research can provide decision makers with relevant science to aid in improved quantification of anthropogenic GHG emissions through direct analysis of ambient measurements and model simulations. A few flights will also be conducted to sample emissions of a coal-fired power plant in Harrisburg, PA and data will be used to evaluate the HYSPLIT dispersion model and compare to EPA’s Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems for the emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides from the power plant.

Two men wearing medical masks stand in front of a small aircraft. Four small metal cylinders are on the ground between them.

ARL’s Xinrong Ren Phillip Stratton in front of the UMD/NOAA research aircraft. Stainless steel canisters sitting between them are air samples taken during a flight in 2020.