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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Weather Balloons Collect Air Pollution, Climate Data

SLU students Joseph Wilkins, Patrick Walsh, Jackie Ringhausen and Tim Barbeau (standing, from left to right), and Valparaiso Univ. trainers Alex Kotsakis and Mark Spychala (crouching, left to right) stabilize the balloon as it fills with helium. (Art Chimes/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis University students Joseph Wilkins, Patrick Walsh, Jackie Ringhausen and Tim Barbeau (standing, from left to right), and Valparaiso University trainers Alex Kotsakis and Mark Spychala (crouching, left to right) stabilize the balloon as it fills with helium. (Art Chimes/St. Louis Public Radio)

Ozone is an essential part of the Earth’s upper atmosphere where it prevents damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth’s surface.

Down near the ground, though, ozone emissions from industrial plants and cars can cause health problems.

Students at Saint Louis University are launching weather balloons as part of a nationwide study funded by NASA to improve our understanding of how ozone affects air pollution and the climate.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Véronique LaCapra of St. Louis Public Radio reports.

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