The team behind the Green Light World Flight mission plans to use the data collected during Matevž Lenarčič’s flight across Asia in an ultralight aircraft for scientific purposes and raising awareness about black carbon. Individuals will be able to press on politicians and bring about changes, which will have to tackle the very basis of our social system.
Lenarčič conducted various measurements during his long journey, which lasted over one month, with his ultralight aircraft Dynamic WT9 made by the Slovakian company Aerospool. He flew over the Middle East and Asia. He described the mission as a success – the instruments on the plane registered all the data. However, unfortunately, due to complications with the permits, he was not allowed to collect data in China.
The conditions for acquiring the permits and the weather conditions all influenced the results illustrating the state of the atmosphere. Larger concentrations of desert sand were detected in the air over the Arabian Peninsula, and a number of expected forest fires influenced the measuring above Russia.
Emissions originating from both natural and human sources were also recorded during the flight, said the head of the scientific research team Griša Močnik. One of the emphases was put on black carbon, emitted into the air by traffic, individual heating systems, and the industry. Black carbon is the second most important cause for global warming, right after carbon dioxide, said Močnik.
The Green Light World Flight mission has two main goals. On one hand, they will present the collected and processed data to scientific conferences, which will later be issued in the form of scientific publications. “We want to do that in a credible way, which will be independent from the tests of our science colleagues,” stressed Močnik.
On the other hand, of great importance for the whole team will be raising the public’s awareness. The general public will have to realize that air pollution is not only problematic for influencing the health of those living in a town or region. The clouds of black smoke “spread high into the atmosphere, where they absorb the sunlight and warm the air, contributing to climate change to almost the same extent as carbon dioxide”, highlighted Močnik.