HONOLULU - Hawaiian Airlines is helping scientist reach new heights by equipping it's aircraft with a device to monitor the health of the earth's atmosphere. 

Last month Hawaiian Airlines joined forces with the European-based, In-service Aircraft Global System (IAGOS), becoming the first U.S. commercial airline to join these research efforts by measuring climate change and tracking air quality.

"It's climate change-- and if you want to observe climate change you have to make long term measurements. Climate changes in years.. decades," IAGOS vice president, Prof. Dr. Wahner said. 

A specialized monitor seen under the cockpit on the exterior of the Hawaiian Airlines A330 wide-body aircraft, collects air samples that helps track high-altitude greenhouse gases and provide daily realtime results to scientist worldwide.

According to IAGOS, it had been difficult before to collect climate change and air quality data in certain areas of the Pacific, but with Hawaiian Airlines' broad network of non-stop flights that's all changed.

"We occupy a place in the world where there is nobody else out here, and so we take off and land where there is no ground base measurement system that can regularly measure," Hawaiian Airlines Chief Operations Officer, Jon Snook said. 

"The first flight for this short time-- equipment is on and we've already covered areas that we've never seen before," Prof. Dr. Wahner added.

For decades, research facility, Mauna Loa Observatory has gathered and analyzed greenhouse gases, but IAGOS says these daily air sample findings can be used, in addition, to more accurately predict and validate weather models. 

"Particularly for Hawaii, it's really important that we look after the environment and anything we can do as part of the community here to help.. that is really important and I encourage anybody in the industry to join in with us to help protect the environment," Snook added.