Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Halley's scientific records are especially valuable as  they go back to 1956 and they are very high quality. Since 1957 there has been a daily balloon flight. This is where a package of meteorological instruments are sent to about 30km altitude by attaching them to a helium filled balloon. The instruments send their data back to Halley by radio where the the data is both stored for future research use and also transmitted onwards to contribute to the big global models that are used to help weather and climate forecasting everywhere.

Here is Penny filling a  balloon with helium.

And here we are launching the balloon from Halley V on a bit of a grey day.

Here is one of the first balloon launches from Halley VI.

Although the ground temperatures have not changed much over the last 50 years, the atmosphere above Halley has warmed significantly. Here is a graph from a scientific paper about the data from Balloons from this part of Antarctica - Significant Warming of the Antarctic Winter Troposphere, J. Turner, T. A. Lachlan-Cope, S. Colwell, G. J. Marshall, W. M. Connolley, Science 2006.
1000hPa near the bottom is close to surface level, 50hPa near the top is nearly 20km altitude.

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