EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

CoMet 2.0 Arctic: Carbon Dioxide and Methane Mission for HALO

Andreas Fix1, Heinrich Bovensmann2, Christoph Gerbig3, Sven Krautwurst2, Michal Gałkowski3, Quatrevalet Mathieu1, Christian Fruck1, Sebastian Wolff1, Friedemann Reum1, Paul Waldmann1, Florian Ewald1, Bernhard Mayer4, Patrick Jöckel1, Christoph Kiemle1, Charles E. Miller5, and and the CoMet 2.0 Arctic team
Andreas Fix et al.
  • 1Institute of Atmospheric Physics, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany (
  • 2Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Germany
  • 3Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
  • 4Meteorological Institute, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany
  • 5NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena USA

In order to reliably predict the climate of our planet, and to help inform political conventions on greenhouse gas emissions such as the Paris Agreement of 2015, adequate knowledge of both natural and anthropogenic sources of the greenhouse gases Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) and their feedbacks is needed. Despite the recognized importance of this issue, our current understanding about sources and sinks of CO2 and CH4 is still inadequate. This is particularly true for the Arctic, where large wetlands and permafrost areas constitute the most relevant but least quantified ecosystems for the global carbon budget.

The CoMet 2.0 Arctic mission wants to help remedy this deficiency with a multi-disciplinary approach providing relevant measurements from Arctic regions using a suite of sophisticated scientific instrumentation onboard the German research aircraft HALO (High Altitude and LOng Range Research Aircraft, to support state-of-the-art Earth System Models. At the same time, CoMet intends to support and improve current and future satellite missions, which still struggle to make high-quality measurements given the low sun elevation, low albedo, and adverse cloud conditions in the Arctic.

CoMet 2.0 Arctic ( has successfully been conducted within a six-week intensive operation period from August 10th to September 16th, 2022 targeting greenhouse gas emissions from boreal wetlands and permafrost areas in the Canadian Arctic, from wildfires, and from anthropogenic emission sources such oil, gas, and coal extraction sites and landfills.

For that mission, HALO was equipped with a suite of remote sensing and in-situ instruments for the measurement of greenhouse gases and meteorological parameters. The remote sensing package comprised the CH4 and CO2 lidar CHARM-F (operated by DLR), the imaging spectrometer MAMAP2D-Light (operated by University of Bremen) and the hyperspectral imager specMACS (operated by LMU Munich). The remote sensors were supported by several in-situ instruments (operated by MPI Jena and DLR) to measure the main greenhouse gases and related trace species as well as an air sampler that collects air samples at flight level for later analysis (e.g. w.r.t. isotopes) in the laboratory. Furthermore, instruments to provide detailed information about the standard meteorological parameters (pressure, wind, humidity) were operated and several small meteorological sondes were launched in order to link those in-flight data to profiles.

A total of 135 flight hours including a test flight to landfills in Spain and transfer flights from Europe have been performed. 16 scientific flights took place out of Edmonton, Alberta, to various regions all over Canada.

CoMet 2.0 Arctic has partly been coordinated with the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment field program by NASA (ABoVE, Both missions, ABoVE and CoMet 2.0 Arctic, are linked through the transatlantic initiative AMPAC (Arctic Methane and Permafrost Challenge, that has recently been inaugurated by the US and European Space Agencies, NASA and ESA.

Thus, a valuable data set was acquired to help better understand the methane and carbon dioxide cycles in the Arctic and emissions from natural and anthropogenic sources.

How to cite: Fix, A., Bovensmann, H., Gerbig, C., Krautwurst, S., Gałkowski, M., Mathieu, Q., Fruck, C., Wolff, S., Reum, F., Waldmann, P., Ewald, F., Mayer, B., Jöckel, P., Kiemle, C., Miller, C. E., and the CoMet 2.0 Arctic team, A.: CoMet 2.0 Arctic: Carbon Dioxide and Methane Mission for HALO, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13301,, 2023.