In DepthAtmospheric Science

NASA flies into Namibia's cloud laboratory

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Science  26 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6302, pp. 853-854
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6302.853

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Summary

Off the coast of Namibia, for several months a year, a layer of smoke from African savanna fires drifts over a persistent deck of low clouds. It’s the perfect place to investigate the thorniest problem in all of climate science: how haze and clouds interact to boost or moderate global warming. Now, after weeks of delay and uncertainty, an airborne research campaign is about to begin. On 29 August, NASA will fly aircraft into the heart of this natural laboratory for about a month, with plans to return in 2017 and 2018. Complementary efforts from France and the United Kingdom would have expanded the sampling area but were postponed when the teams couldn’t get diplomatic clearances from Namibia.