New scientific research mission of Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarčič

Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarčič. Photo: Green Light World Flight archives

Slovenian pilot, biologist and photograph Matevž Lenarčič embarked on a new scientific environmental expedition on 24 March, as part of which he will collect data on black carbon and Saharan dust levels in the atmosphere above the Mediterranean and the Alps.

He took off from the Portorož airport on the Slovenian coast and flew to the Green Light World Flight 2017 mission. In the coming days, he will do more than 20,000 kilometres with the ultralight aeroplane Dynamic WT9.

Aviation for Science

Photo: Green Light World Flight archives

Lenarčič wants to create a realistic picture of the problem, which is very serious according to climatologists. The deposition of coloured particles on the surface of white snow and glaciers causes increased absorption of sunlight, heating, and accelerated melting. Alpine glaciers are a very important source of drinking water and energy for the Central Europe. However, according to some pessimistic forecasts, they are in danger of disappearance due to pollution.

One year ago, Matevž Lenarčič successfully did 42,000 kilometres around the world, north of the Equator, in the same aeroplane. He measured the concentration of black carbon in the areas where there had been no similar measurements before. The general estimate was that the problem of black carbon is largely underestimated. The results of the research were presented at several conferences, including European Geophysical Union, American Association for Aerosol Research, and European Aerosol Conference.