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ARCTAS focuses on advancing understanding of the factors driving current changes in the Arctic region including transport of mid-latitude pollution, boreal forest fires, aerosol radiative forcing, and chemical processes. ARCTAS aimed to use detailed observations from aircraft to provide the validation, retrieval constraints, correlative data, and process information needed to better achieve the potential of satellites for Arctic research. The plan is for the combination of satellite and aircraft data to provide together powerful information for constraining and evaluating models of Arctic atmospheric composition and climate, and thus improve model projections of future change. The first phase of ARCTAS was based in Fairbanks and Barrow, Alaska with some flights to Thule, Greenland in April and focused on thick aerosol layers known as “arctic haze.” The second phase followed in July based from Cold Lake, Alberta and the Northwest Territories focusing on the emissions from large boreal forest fires in northwest Canada. This data set consists of observations made with the CAR instrument and includes values for bidirectional reflectance factor at varying spectral bands.

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