Aerial campaign of the Center for Atmospheric Research of the University of Nova Gorica and Matevž Lenarčič in the tropical Atlantic Ocean

Date of publication: 7. 9. 2022

The University of Nova Gorica’s Center for Atmospheric Research and GreenLight WorldFlight 2022 are collaborating again this September to investigate the impact of natural and anthropogenic aerosol and particulate matter pollution on the warming of the atmosphere and hurricane formation over the South Atlantic.

Photo: Matevž Lenarčič
Photo: Matevž Lenarčič

On 6 September 2022, Matevž Lenarčič took off from Slovenske Konjice to Jerez in southern Spain, and in the following days, onwards via Morocco, the Canary Islands, Senegal and the island of São Vicente in the Cape Verde archipelago.

On 11 September 2022, together with Prof. Dr. Griša Močnik from the University of Nova Gorica, they will start measurement flights in coordination with the crew of the US NASA DC-8 research aircraft, based on the neighbouring island of Sal, during the overflight of the European Space Agency’s Aeolus satellite.

Strong winds, also caused by cyclones that form in the area, carry large quantities of Saharan sand, black carbon and other pollutants across the Atlantic to South and Central America.

Layers of Saharan sand and black carbon are warming the atmosphere. The impact of this phenomenon on the formation of tropical storms and hurricanes is not yet well researched and understood.

Why sand particles stay in the air so long, and how much the mixtures of Saharan sand and soot are warming the atmosphere, are questions that the Joint Aeolus Tropical Atlantic Campaign (JATAC 2022) will try to answer.

Participants: University of Nova Gorica, Haze, d. o. o., Aerovizija, d. o. o., NASA – CPEX-CV, ESA – European Space Agency, Tropos Institute, National Observatory of Athens, University of Miami and University of Washington.

The return to Slovenia is planned for around 22 September 2022.

It will be possible to track the flights on the website GreenLight WorldFlight.

Photo: Matevž Lenarčič
Photo: Matevž Lenarčič