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Archive for the 'MAMM' Category

As the September flying campaign draws to an end, Sam I and Jen reflect on what has been a rather successful project to date, and also talk about the next steps for MAMM.

They also discuss the delights of the salad bar at Kiruna airport, and Sam demonstrates his trilingual ‘abilities’. 

Make sure to keep checking out the MAMM blog:

for more scientific results and details over the coming months!

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This episode is all about the different "scales" of methane measurements made during MAMM. Whilst the aircraft samples the whole European Arctic region, close-up, small-scale sampling of the wetlands is also done to understand how methane emissions vary within short distances, and how they are linked to vegetation types and the depth of the water table.

Jennifer speaks to Ute Skiba from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and finds out about her measurements of methane in the wetlands using chambers, and how these small-scale measurements can be scaled up to the larger, i.e. regional scale, which can then be compared with the regional scale measurements made by the aircraft. Another important greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide - N2O, also gets a mention!

Photo credit: Stephane Bauguitte (FAAM)

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This episode is all about the people who keep the FAAMBAe-146 atmospheric research aircraft, her core instruments and scientists in top condition.

In the first part, Sam I chats with Allan Woolley from FAAM (shortfor Facility of Airborne Atmospheric Measurements) who explains the role of the flightmanager during a science flight. Alan also reveals some tips on how to keep thescientists' morale high and what else he does at FAAM when he is not in the air.

In the second part of this episode, Jennifer speaks with theaircraft engineers Dean Warrilow and Stuart Sneddon from Avalon Aero, who maintain,repair & check the aircraft during a detachment like MAMM in the Arctic, orat the base back in Cranfield in the UK.

And according to Dean, sometimes it's not just theinstruments or aircraft itself that is high maintenance, which then... leaves the scientists?

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Due to certain weight restrictions on the ARA, Sam was unable to fly today, and so instead joined Dave Lowry and James France from Royal Holloway University of London as they made their way out to make measurements from a nearby wetlands site at Abisko, in the torrential rain.

As James drives in the treacherous conditions, Dave talks to Sam about the importance of these measurements, how chambers are used this process, and why it is absolutely essential that they make them in conditions such as this, which are atypical of Lapland at this time of year. 

Incidentally Sam can confirm that the weight restrictions were due to extra equipment that needed to be carried on the aircraft, and had absolutely nothing to do with the extra portions of oatmeal cakes that he had with breakfast this morning. 

The life of a measurement scientists is never done... James (left) and Dave trudge off into the Swedish wilderness.

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In this episode of the podcast Sam I catches up with James France, from the Royal Holloway, University of London. James explains his role on the MAMM mission, from collecting bags of air on the aircraft in order to ‘fingerprint’ the different sources of methane, to driving around Scandinavia and making measurements from the ground. 

Sam and James also talk about the MAMM September flying campaign to date, which kicked off yesterday (Thursday 19th September) morning.

James (on the right) hard at work on the ARA.

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The UK largest research aircraft and its airborne measurements form an integral part of the MAMM campaign, a project that aims to understand and survey the sources of methane in the European Arctic.

Doing research using the aircraft takes a lot more than just the scientists doing good science: the ground operations team plays a crucial role.

Listen to this episode to find out more about what the operations team on the ground does months in advance to plan a campaign and the aircraft detachment, as well as what is involved in making sure the aircraft can go flying day after day in a campaign such as e.g. MAMM.

Jennifer spoke to Peter Chappell and David Simpson from Directflight to hear about their work behind the scenes, and some of the perks of the job.


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Sam I and Jen broadcast live from several thousand feet above sea level to bring you an introduction to the September flying missions of the MAMM campaign, talking about why they are returning to the Arctic circle, and about the importance of making in situ measurements of methane. Sartorial concerns are also addressed as the necessities of thermal underwear are discussed. 

Remember to keep listening the podcast over the week for the latest updates of the MAMM campaign, and to keep checking the blog at: www.arcticmethane.wordpress.com for further details of the team’s quest to better understand methane in the Arctic. 

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Back in Manchester, Will chats with Sam and Jennifer who reflect on the recent flying in the Arctic for the MAMM project. Listen to find out whether luck was with them, or whether they made their own luck in August and what the outlook is for the September campaign where they will be flying even further North than the wetlands in the European Arctic.

Arctic wetlands


Find out more about the MAMM campaigns on the project blog: arcticmethane.wordpress.com

Presenting: Will Morgan

Chat: Jennifer Muller & Sam Illingworth

Editing: Jennifer Muller


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Sam I and Jen meet to discuss some of the results of the fourth (and final) day of the MAMM flying campaign in the Arctic. Thanks to some excellent in flight planning and some fortuitous weather, the FAAM Atmospheric Research Aircraft was able to make measurements over the Sodankylä TCCON (Total Carbon Column Observing Network, and not the Total Column Carbon Observing Network as Sam seems to think!) site in Finland, whilst the Sky Arrow team was also able to follow us for some intercomparison work. 

Tomorrow will see the MAMM team fly back to the UK, hopefully making some measurements of the Oil Rigs near Bacton en route to Cranfield. And then in less than a month’s time, it’ll start all over again…

Sam tries to talk the Sky Arrow team into giving him a ride (photo courtesy of Michelle Cain).

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In this episode, Sam I catches up with Professor John Pyle from the University of Cambridge, the PI (Principal Investigator) for the MAMM project, and finds out in a bit more detail about the principal aims of the flying phase of the campaign.

As well as talking about the benefits to a modeller of being there in the air when the actual measurements are made, John also talks about the results of today’s flights, in which elevated methane was detected in a number of different plumes, potentially as a result of long range transport from continental Europe. 

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