Aug 16, 2014 2:26 PM by Associated Press
DENVER (AP) - The National Center for Atmospheric Research is wrapping up C-130 cargo plane flights across Colorado aimed at tracking air pollution at different elevations.
The Denver Post reports the monthlong project measured pollution at elevations up to 12,500 feet, and the data will be combined with information from NASA Earth-observing satellites, balloons and other aircraft - as well as Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment ground sensors.
Wing-mounted cylinders draw in air that's tested for more than 200 pollutants including aerosols, nitric acid, sulfur dioxide and hydrocarbons such as cancer-causing benzene. Now, scientists are beginning to analyze the data.
Gathering data at multiple elevations allows scientists to pinpoint the sources of the pollution, which in recent years has reached levels along the Front Range that exceed federal health standards.