Balloon laser deployed to detect global warming

February 12, 1999

A balloon-borne laser is about to make a 30-day flight in the battle against global warming. The infrared spectrometer, jointly developed by Cambridge and Strathclyde universities and the National Physical Laboratory, measures methane gas in the atmosphere and is much smaller, faster and lighter than previous instruments, weighing only 2.5 kilograms.

It is part of a new programme supported by the Natural Environment Research Council following concerns that the UK's atmospheric measuring equipment was not up to date.

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