1983 North Pole Flight
by NOAA WP-3 Research Aircraft

The AGASP flights were special missions flown from Norway and Thule AFB, to obtain measurements for determining the rate at which carbon dioxide in the arctic atmosphere was being absorbed by a Norwegian Sea "sink". Those sinks in oceans around the world are believed to regularly absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and this absorption is believed to play an important role in removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Computer models indicated that excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from human activity would cause a "greenhouse" effect; and we still are hearing about this of course, over twenty years later. The AGASP flights also determined how representative haze samples were by comparing them to observations from ground based instruments in an Arctic air sampling network from the Barrow GMCC observatory, which is a NOAA baseline monitoring station on the North Coast of Alaska.

Back of above cover; note that Flight Navigator Nelson (who documented the flight) has thoughtfully noted the exact time they overflew the North Pole!! A collector's delight...  Also, an interesting side note to this series of flights was that the crews were probably the last human beings to see Fletcher's Ice Island T-3, which had been temporarily "misplaced" in the fall of 1982.  The complete story of this can be found on my Ice Island page.

This is the flight track, showing the North Pole overflight.

Go to My Ice Islands Page for related story about Ice Island T-3

Back to My Main Polar Philately Page

QSL.net/KG0YH page last updated 07 August 2009 0402Z