Amid ‘Spy Balloon’ Controversy, WMO Highlights Key Role Of Weather Balloons In Climate Monitoring

Weather balloons play an important part of a vast, intricate global observation system, providing vital information for climate monitoring and forecasters, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday. On the heels of recent news reports about Canada and the United States shooting down several flying objects, including an alleged Chinese ‘spy balloon’, inside their borders, WMO points out that weather balloons provide just a tiny fraction of the millions of observations gathered worldwide daily. About 400 moored buoys, 1,250 drifting buoys, and 7,300 ships help from the seas in addition to 10,000 automated and land-based observing stations across the planet. Every day, free-rising latex balloons are released simultaneously from almost 900 locations worldwide. Nearly 1,000 balloons gather daily observations that provide input in real-time. The valuable information gathered contributes to computer forecast models, local data for meteorologists to make forecasts and predict storms, climate monitoring and data for research to better understand weather and climate processes.

By UN News. February 17, 2023.

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