‘From Leaf to Space’: NWT Youth Join NASA Flight to Investigate Impacts of Climate Change

Two youths from the Northwest Territories joined NASA researchers aboard a Gulfstream III jet flying over Great Slave Lake and parts of Nunavut and Alberta earlier this month.

“It was really cool to learn what they were doing—what each person and each piece of equipment was doing,” says Jacki Moore, a 22-year-old environmental engineer at the North Slave Métis Alliance. Tsetta said.

“It was amazing.

The flight was part of NASA’s Arctic Vulnerability Experiment, known as ABoVE, a field campaign in Alaska and western Canada that began in 2015. Northern ecosystems to climate change.

NASA scientist and ABoVE project manager Peter Griffiths said the region is “the first and fastest to change as the Earth heats up.”

A study by Finnish researchers published earlier this month in the journal Nature found that the Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the rest of the world over the past 40 years.

“From the very beginning, NASA’s job has been to provide decision-makers of all kinds with sound scientific information about Earth as a planetary system,” said Griffiths. “We are very concerned that people not only in Canada, but in the United States, but all over the world are well informed about our changing planet.”

Carrie Worth, a research pilot at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, said the project will use data collected from the ground, in flight, and from satellites to study the Earth “from leaf to space.” I said yes.

Work at NWT this summer included tracking changes in areas affected by the 2014 wildfires.

Moore-Tsetta, a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, said he remembers 2014 as “a terrible year.” Because she has asthma and the sky was red for most of the summer.

In addition to participating in flights, she recently joined a team of NASA researchers investigating vegetation disturbance and changes in permafrost and soil moisture.

“I think it’s good that they started this project,” she said. “It’s really helpful to know what’s going on in the world, especially fire conditions, because CO2 and methane are being released into the air.”

Walsh, who hails from Yellowknife and is studying mathematics at the University of Lethbridge, said he plans to minor in geography after studying geography this summer.

“It really broadened my horizons. I stepped into a world I never knew existed,” he said.

“Even in the last four months, I’ve really fallen in love with this field.”

While operating in the region, NASA partnered with the German Aerospace Center’s CoMet 2.0 Arctic mission. Over the course of six weeks in August and September, the project uses aircraft-based instruments to measure carbon dioxide and methane emissions in the north.

Some Yellowknife residents were able to talk to NASA and German Aerospace Center officials and see the aircraft at an open house earlier this month.


This article was produced with financial support from the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Emily Blake, Canadian Press

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‘From Leaf to Space’: NWT Youth Join NASA Flight to Investigate Impacts of Climate Change

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