Cyprus Mail

Max Planck team on atmospheric mission

HALO team in Paphos (CNA)

A 65-STRONG team of atmospheric researchers from Germany are in Cyprus to investigate the impact of the monsoon on air quality and climate change, a project that has never been done before.

The team is using the new High-Altitude Long Range (HALO) aircraft which is operated by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR).

Professor Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and lecturer at the Cyprus Institute, and Germany`s Ambassador to Cyprus, Nikolai von Schoepff attended a gathering in Paphos where they were briefed on the aircraft and the mission.

Stratos Bourtsoukides, researcher in Atmospheric Chemistry said HALO was equipped with devices to analyse the ozone’s chemistry and the exchange of air pollutants.

“We have come here to make atmospheric measurements over the monsoons of India, in fact to study the self-cleaning capacity of the atmosphere with this plane,” he said. “Our goal is to see how these air pollutants come from emissions in India and are transformed in the atmosphere”.

Bourtsoukides said the researchers were in Cyprus to carry out measurements over Saudi Arabia but would be based in Paphos until the end of the OMO mission .

In total they plan a trip of 100,000 kilometers and 120 hours of flight.

The airplane, its crew and the team will later head to Male on the Maldives to analyse the atmosphere over the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal. Before the researchers and the airplane return to Germany, the mission will stop again in Cyprus for a few days.

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