Although global warming has become a hotbed issue in recent years, the problem has been under investigation for at least 20 to 30 years, according to Dr. Steve Hipskind, Chief of NASA's Earth Science Division, Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. Hipskind's group has focused on atmospheric and biospheric science research, with a major thrust on using detailed ecosystem models to determine the impact of climatic change on carbon cycling.

This year, Hipskind's group is embarking on the ARCTCAS (Artic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites) mission. NASA satellites have clearly demonstrated the major loss of the Arctic ice sheet, and concerns have risen whether the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in the next decade or so. Another research effort will use large, unpiloted aircraft to study global warming's effects on hurricane activity.

Read the "Who's Who at NASA" interview with Steve Hipskind on page 10 of the April issue of NASA Tech Briefs, or click here .