Planning, implementation, and scientific goals of the studies of emissions and atmospheric composition, clouds and climate coupling by regional surveys (SEAC4RS) field mission

Owen B. Toon, Hal Maring, Jack Dibb, Richard Ferrare, Daniel J. Jacob, Eric J. Jensen, Z. Johnny Luo, Gerald G. Mace, Laura L. Pan, Lenny Pfister, Karen H. Rosenlof, Jens Redemann, Jeffrey S. Reid, Hanwant B. Singh, Anne M. Thompson, Robert Yokelson, Patrick Minnis, Gao Chen, Kenneth W. Jucks, Alex Pszenny

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140 Scopus citations


The Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS) fieldmission based at Ellington Field, Texas, during August and September 2013 employed the most comprehensive airborne payload to date to investigate atmospheric composition over North America. The NASA ER-2, DC-8, and SPEC Inc. Learjet flew 57 science flights fromthe surface to 20 km. The ER-2 employed seven remote sensing instruments as a satellite surrogate and eight in situ instruments. The DC-8 employed 23 in situ and five remote sensing instruments for radiation, chemistry, and microphysics. The Learjet used 11 instruments to explore cloud microphysics. SEAC4RS launched numerous balloons, augmented AErosol RObotic NETwork, and collaborated with many existing ground measurement sites. Flights investigating convection included close coordination of all three aircraft. Coordinated DC-8 and ER-2 flights investigated the optical properties of aerosols, the influence of aerosols on clouds, and the performance of new instruments for satellite measurements of clouds and aerosols. ER-2 sorties sampled stratospheric injections of water vapor and other chemicals by local and distant convection. DC-8 flights studied seasonally evolving chemistry in the Southeastern U.S., atmospheric chemistry with lower emissions of NOx and SO2 than in previous decades, isoprene chemistry under high and low NOx conditions at different locations, organic aerosols, air pollution near Houston and in petroleum fields, smoke from wildfires in western forests and from agricultural fires in the Mississippi Valley, and the ways in which the chemistry in the boundary layer and the upper troposphere were influenced by vertical transport in convective clouds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4967-5009
Number of pages43
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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