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ARCTAS Kinematic Trajectories

Metadata Updated: December 7, 2023

ARCTAS_Trajectory_Data is the Kinematic Backward and Forward Trajectories derived for the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft & Satellites sub-orbital campaign. The kinematic trajectories are driven by hourly FSU-WRF winds and initialized at a variety of pressure levels (flight level, 850 HPa, 700 HPa, 500 HPa, and 300 HPa). Data collection for this product is complete.

The Arctic is a critical region in understanding climate change. The responses of the Arctic to environmental perturbations such as warming, pollution, and emissions from forest fires in boreal Eurasia and North America include key processes such as the melting of ice sheets and permafrost, a decrease in snow albedo, and the deposition of halogen radical chemistry from sea salt aerosols to ice. Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS) was a field campaign that explored environmental processes related to the high degree of climate sensitivity in the Arctic. ARCTAS was part of NASA’s contribution to the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements, and Models of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols, and Transport (POLARCAT) Experiment for the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

ARCTAS had four primary objectives. The first was to understand long-range transport of pollution to the Arctic. Pollution brought to the Arctic from northern mid-latitude continents has environmental consequences, such as modifying regional and global climate and affecting the ozone budget. Prior to ARCTAS, these pathways remained largely uncertain. The second objective was to understand the atmospheric composition and climate implications of boreal forest fires; the smoke emissions from which act as an atmospheric perturbation to the Arctic by impacting the radiation budget and cloud processes and contributing to the production of tropospheric ozone. The third objective was to understand aerosol radiative forcing from climate perturbations, as the Arctic is an important place for understanding radiative forcing due to the rapid pace of climate change in the region and its unique radiative environment. The fourth objective of ARCTAS was to understand chemical processes with a focus on ozone, aerosols, mercury, and halogens. Additionally, ARCTAS sought to develop capabilities for incorporating data from aircraft and satellites related to pollution and related environmental perturbations in the Arctic into earth science models, expanding the potential for those models to predict future environmental change.

ARCTAS consisted of two, three-week aircraft deployments conducted in April and July 2008. The spring deployment sought to explore arctic haze, stratosphere-troposphere exchange, and sunrise photochemistry. April was chosen for the deployment phase due to historically being the peak in the seasonal accumulation of pollution from northern mid-latitude continents in the Arctic. The summer deployment sought to understand boreal forest fires at their most active seasonal phase in addition to stratosphere-troposphere exchange and summertime photochemistry.

During ARCTAS, three NASA aircrafts, the DC-8, P-3B, and BE-200, conducted measurements and were equipped with suites of in-situ and remote sensing instrumentation. Airborne data was used in conjunction with satellite observations from AURA, AQUA, CloudSat, PARASOL, CALIPSO, and MISR.

The ASDC houses ARCTAS aircraft data, along with data related to MISR, a satellite instrument aboard the Terra satellite which provides measurements that provide information about the Earth’s environment and climate.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Created Date May 30, 2023
Metadata Updated Date December 7, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date May 30, 2023
Metadata Updated Date December 7, 2023
Identifier C2449573919-LARC_ASDC
Data First Published 2022-01-06
Language en-US
Data Last Modified 2022-09-06
Category ARCTAS, geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Citation 2022-09-06. Archived by National Aeronautics and Space Administration, U.S. Government, NASA/LARC/SD/ASDC.
Harvest Object Id c341f1de-d62a-4864-b308-464c9f140969
Harvest Source Id 58f92550-7a01-4f00-b1b2-8dc953bd598f
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Homepage URL
Metadata Type geospatial
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Program Code 026:001
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash e4aedda8634d8700206a5b1bdfe7d561481c499ae5d19b220d4b9a162f89a5e7
Source Schema Version 1.1
Temporal 2008-03-28T00:00:00Z/2008-07-15T23:59:59.999Z

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