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Home The CARVE campaign flights are conducted aboard a specially instrumented NASA C-23 Sherpa aircraft from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. Most of the time, the CARVE scientists fly the plane “down in the mud,” at about 500 feet (152 meters) above the ground. The low altitude above the Arctic surface allows the scientists to measure interesting exchanges of carbon taking place between Earth’s surface and atmosphere. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech) The CARVE campaign flights are conducted aboard a specially instrumented NASA C-23 Sherpa aircraft from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. Most of the time, the CARVE scientists fly the plane "down in the mud," at about 500 feet (152 meters) above the ground. The low altitude above the Arctic surface allows the scientists to measure interesting exchanges of carbon taking place between Earth's surface and atmosphere. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The CARVE campaign flights are conducted aboard a specially instrumented NASA C-23 Sherpa aircraft from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. Most of the time, the CARVE scientists fly the plane “down in the mud,” at about 500 feet (152 meters) above the ground. The low altitude above the Arctic surface allows the scientists to measure interesting exchanges of carbon taking place between Earth’s surface and atmosphere. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The CARVE campaign flights are conducted aboard a specially instrumented NASA C-23 Sherpa aircraft from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. Most of the time, the CARVE scientists fly the plane "down in the mud," at about 500 feet (152 meters) above the ground. The low altitude above the Arctic surface allows the scientists to measure interesting exchanges of carbon taking place between Earth's surface and atmosphere. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The CARVE campaign flights are conducted aboard a specially instrumented NASA C-23 Sherpa aircraft from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Va. Most of the time, the CARVE scientists fly the plane “down in the mud,” at about 500 feet (152 meters) above the ground. The low altitude above the Arctic surface allows the scientists to measure interesting exchanges of carbon taking place between Earth’s surface and atmosphere. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Permafrost zones occupy nearly a quarter of the exposed land area of the Northern Hemisphere. NASA’s Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment is probing deep into the frozen lands above the Arctic Circle in Alaska to measure emissions of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane from thawing permafrost – signals that may hold a key to Earth’s climate future. (Image credit: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal)
The CARVE scientists observed episodic, localized bursts of methane being emitted from the tundra as the spring thaw progressed northward over Alaska’s North Slope in May and June 2012. Reds and yellows represent the highest concentrations of methane, and blues the lowest. The methane is released from the topsoil as it thaws. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)