ARL Weekly News – October 16, 2020.
FLAGG-MD Flights take place this week.
ARL investigations aboard the University of Maryland’s Cessna aircraft will take their final flight of 2020 on October 21, weather dependent. Xinrong Ren (while not physically on the flights) and his colleagues at the University of Maryland, NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and Purdue University conducted pervious research flights from February to October 2020 for the Fluxes of Greenhouse Gases in Maryland (FLAGG-MD) and Tracers of Opportunity projects to characterize emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and air pollutants in the Baltimore-Washington area. Emissions are estimated based on these aircraft measurements, and then compared to previous years’ emissions to assess the COVID-19 impacts. The results from this study will also be used to evaluate emission inventories and coupled with an inverse model to better estimate urban emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. The FLAGG-MD and Tracers of Opportunity projects have produced policy-relevant science that aided in improved quantification of anthropogenic GHG and air pollutant emissions to the scientific community and regulatory agencies through direct analysis of ambient measurements and model simulations.
Phil Stratton of UMD will be aboard the October flight and make measurements in the land-water transition area (i.e., Baltimore-the Chesapeake Bay) to evaluate the boundary layer dynamics and provide data to verify and improve ARL’s HYSPLIT model. The team will measure GHGs (carbon dioxide and methane), meteorological variables, and other trace gases and aerosol optical properties.