Using data and science to forecast climate-related risk

MIT Faculty and Researchers

R. John Hansman (lead), Brent Minchew (lead), John Ashcom, Brian Aull, David Burke, John Cho, Mark Drela, Kerry Emanuel, Dara Entekhabi, T.Y. Fan, Bob Galeis, William Herzog, Jalal Khan, Matt Stowe, Dave Wolinski, Beijia Zhang

MIT Schools/Affiliation

External Collaborators

James G. Anderson (Harvard University), John Langford (

Research summary

The Stratospheric Airborne Climate Observatory System (SACOS) is an ensemble of solar powered aircraft operating for months in the stratosphere, each integrally designed with high-resolution instruments focused on critical climate observing missions that satellites or aircraft cannot fulfill. These observations will reduce the uncertainty in forecasting of climate risks such as increased storm severity and frequency, more severe droughts, sea-level rise, and ozone depletion. Example SACOS missions include:

  • Antarctic ice shelf collapse forecasting
  • Greenland glacier flow prediction
  • Coastal flooding monitoring
  • Sampling of stratospheric aerosols
  • In-situ measurement of storm-driven stratospheric chemistry
  • Drought and wildfire prediction
  • Oceanic surface and cyclone monitoring

Get involved


Contact John Hansman:

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