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© Sébastien CHASTANET / CNES / OMP / IRAP / UT3 / CNRS Images



La nacelle CLIMAT en préparation à la base de lancement de ballons d'Alice Springs

The CLIMAT gondola being prepared at the balloon launch base in Alice Springs, in Australia. The red and white object is the Aircore instrument developed by the dynamic meteorology laboratory (Labo de Météo Dynamique - LMD) in Paris. This instrument performs a form of "air coring", sucking in air that is subsequently analysed on the ground in order to reveal the respective concentrations of the various atmospheric constituents. The CLIMAT mission ( Combination of Lasers and Instruments for in situ Measurement of the Atmosphere of Earth) concerns a group of experiments by French and European laboratories aimed at furthering research into atmospheric physics and chemistry. CLIMAT is a 240 kg gondola, carried under a 150,000 cu. m balloon to a ceiling altitude of 33 km. For example, its 2015 flight enabled scientists to identify a 10% increase in methane in columns between 0 km and 15 km between 2000 and 2015; this important finding was subsequently reported at the COP21 climate conference.

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