New Iagos Aircraft From Air Canada Measures Elevated Carbon Monoxide Levels Over Eastern Canada

24 May 2023

Special measuring devices in commercial aircraft have been providing researchers with data on the composition of the atmosphere for many years. With an Airbus A330 of Air Canada, another airliner and another airline has now joined the European research infrastructure IAGOS in April. After only a few days in service, the plane, which is equipped with a corresponding measurement module, was already able to record exceptionally high carbon monoxide levels over eastern Canada, which, according to researchers, can be traced back to the fierce forest fires in Alberta.

The collected data will now be further analysed to understand the impact of such events on the atmosphere, air quality, and ultimately, the climate. Currently, a total of nine passenger aircraft from various airlines are actively participating in IAGOS, equipped with specially designed measurement devices on board to gather comprehensive data on air composition. This includes climate variables such as ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, aerosols, and cloud particles. Researchers worldwide use this data to gain new insights into climate trends, composition of the atmosphere, refine climate models, and improve weather forecasting.

The German contribution to IAGOS, known as "In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System" (IAGOS) runs with long-term support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is coordinated by Prof. Andreas Petzold from the Institute of Troposphere Research (IEK-8) at Forschungszentrum Jülich. In addition to Forschungszentrum Jülich, other German project partners include the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Max Planck Society, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS).


Prof. Dr. Andreas Petzold

Senior Scientist Head of department "Global Observation"

  • Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
  • Troposphere (IEK-8)
Building 05.2 /
Room 3048
+49 2461/61-5795

Tobias Schlößer


    Building 15.3 /
    Room R 3028a
    +49 2461/61-4771

    Last Modified: 25.05.2023