NZ scientists to work with Nasa on $375m project

New Zealand scientists are to work with Nasa in a $375 million satellite project to collect the most accurate data yet on greenhouse gases.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) project will help scientists understand how fast greenhouse gases leave and enter the atmosphere, the Dominion Post reported.

It was a great opportunity for National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) scientists to be involved in world-leading research, team leader Vanessa Sherlock said.

The project's leader Dave Crisp is in New Zealand to discuss the project with Niwa.

The satellite, to be launched by February 2013, would pick up data from 15 measurement stations around the world, Dr Crisp said.

The New Zealand station at Lauder in Otago would be the southernmost. It had been established for ozone hole research and Dr Crisp said New Zealand scientists were considered experts at atmospheric research.

Greenhouse gas concentrations were also more stable around New Zealand than in the northern hemisphere where the measurements were influenced by industrial emissions.

A clearer picture of where and how greenhouse gases moved in the Earth and atmosphere would help those planning for the effects of climate change, Dr Crisp said.

- NZPA

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