An international team that includes NCAR researchers is
crisscrossing the Pacific Ocean in the Gulfstream-V this
month during the Pacific Dust Experiment (PACDEX), chasing
plumes of dust and pollution from Asia to North America.
The plumes are among the largest events on Earth involving
dust and pollutants, so great in scope that scientists believe
they might affect clouds and weather as they travel across
the Pacific. The plumes also block some of the Sun’s
radiation, which has implications for global
This illustration shows a hypothetical plume and possible
series of flight patterns for the G-V. When
a major plume forms off Asia, the researchers fly from Boulder
to Anchorage, where they refuel the G-V before continuing
on to Japan’s Yokota Air Base. They then conduct a
week-long series of flights in and around the plume as the
dust and pollutants drifts toward North America.
On May 15, PACDEX scientists Jeff Stith (EOL) and V. Ramanathan
(Scripps Institution of Oceanography) held a live Web chat
for journalists during the second flight of the campaign.
Jeff participated in the chat from 40,000 feet high aboard
the G-V, while Ram was at Jeffco. (Illustration by Steve
On the Web
about PACDEX in Staff Notes Monthly
PACDEX project page
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