By Dr Sam Illingworth, University of Manchester
Today marks the end of the August flying campaign for MAMM, a whilst there will be a transit back to the UK tomorrow (as well as hopefully some methane measurements over the off shore oil rigs in the North Sea), today’s flights are the last to be making methane measurements over the Arctic wetlands.
As the Blue Team began their morning flight things didn’t look to great weather-wise, and it was feared that we wouldn’t get the opportunity to descend through the cloud layer to make the necessary low level measurements. However, the pilots spotted a gap in the clouds just North of the Gulf of Bothnia and took us down. From there the weather kept on getting better, and there was a sufficient break in the cloud layer to enable us to add an additional leg to the flight plan, making box measurements over the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON) site in Sodankyl, Finland, which will be used for intercomparison work.
This was an excellent example of superb communication between the instrument scientists, the mission scientists, and the pilots, which meant that we were able to adapt our original aims to take advantage of the conditions. It was of course further proof that the Blue/Azure/Green team were top dog (although the help that we received from Red Team in terms of coordinating with the TCCON site to inform them of our intended flight path was also vital to our success, and definitely deserves a mention, albeit grudgingly and definitely in parenthesis).
Previously in this series: