Jean-Louis Etienne - Generali Arctic Observer - Mesure du Co2La mesure du champ magnétique terrestre
IT HAS NOW BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY PROVED THAT THE ACCUMULATION OF CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) IN THE ATMOSPHERE IS A MAJOR FACTOR IN THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT AND THE RESULTING GLOBAL WARMING. BUT EVEN THOUGH THE PHENOMENON IS NOW WELL KNOWN, SCIENTISTS LACK OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENTS FOR THE ZONE ABOVE THE NORTH POLE, WHICH IS ONE OF THE MOST SENSITIVE REGIONS OF OUR PLANET.

THE « GENERALI ARCTIC OBSERVER » EXPEDITION SHOULD BE ABLE TO BRING BACK SIGNIFICANT DATA ON THIS SUBJECT.
ADDITIONAL DATA
Data about the concentration of carbon dioxide is currently provided by a network of observation stations spread unevenly on the surface of the globe. Obviously, the structure of the polar pack ice prevents the establishment of a permanent observation station above the North Pole.

The eco-friendly mode of transport used during the expedition and the long flight time involved should allow Jean-Louis Etienne to gather reliable data on the quantities of CO2 present but generated outside the Arctic region. This is because by early spring, the vegetation in the polar latitudes has not yet reappeared, so it can be reasonably assumed that practically no carbon dioxide is being produced by photosynthesis in the zone. So the expedition’s measurements will identify precisely the CO2 input from outside the area around the North Pole.

Lastly, using mathematical air-circulation models combined with the data received from the on-board probe, it will be possible to determine the origin of the CO2 present, thus helping to gain a better understanding of our planet and to propose ways to preserve its essential balances.
TECHNICAL EXPERIMENTS
The expedition will also provide an opportunity to test the miniature measurement probe under extreme conditions. The apparatus, designed by the firm Vaisala and then calibrated and packaged by France’s Climate and Environmental Science Laboratory (CEA-CNRS), weighs only 360 g, consumes 3.5 W of power and has a measurement error of only about 1%. First trials, carried out in November 2008 using a captive weather balloon provided by Météo France, demonstrated the probe’s reliability. Each measurement of CO2 concentration will be matched with surrounding data: GPS position, altitude, pressure, hygrometry, speed and direction of the balloon. All data will be transmitted via Iridium to Michel Ramonet at the Climate and Environmental Science Laboratory.
Jean-Louis Etienne - Sciences - Sonde de mesure