December 1, 2016
Stratéole 2, a long duration scientific ballooning campaign to study the Tropical Tropopause Layer (TTL) and lower stratosphere, organized by CNES and LMD in France and the National Science Foundation in the US, is planned for 2018 – 2020 and presents a unique opportunity for US scientists to make physical and chemical measurements of the TTL from nearly Lagrangian platforms. Measurements of water vapor, meteorological profiles, aerosol size distributions and ozone are both highly relevant and possible using instrumentation developed at several US institutions for long duration ballooning. This suite of instrumentation and the unique nature of the several month duration of the balloon platforms would advance scientific inquiries into the TTL concerning the role of gravity and equatorial wave dynamics, the flux of trace gases, clouds and aerosols, stratospheric hydration, and the validation of satellite retrievals and model simulations.
A workshop was held in Paris in March 2015 to establish a new international research collaboration for science of the Tropical Upper Troposphere / Lower Stratosphere (UT/LS). The workshop will develop a research framework for a field campaign, Strateole 2, which will sample the equatorial atmosphere with a unique super-pressure balloon platform in 2018-2020 to develop a new understanding of the dynamics, chemistry, and momentum exchange between the troposphere and stratosphere that is critical for the new generation of high top climate models