Faculty Advisor

Mark Potosnak


An increase in the amount of factories and machines that emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) has caused the concentration of GHGs to rise steeply since the industrial era. These emissions create compounds that react with sunlight to form ozone, a GHG. Ozone not only traps heat in the atmosphere causing long-term global issues, but it also causes direct harm to both plants and animals. The damage that ozone causes to plants is due to plants taking the gas up through their stomata. Measuring ozone uptake has traditionally been a difficult and expensive process. This study proposes a novel approach towards measuring ozone uptake using a high-altitude balloon (HAB). It was hypothesized that the HAB would be an effective method for measuring ozone uptake. Similarly to carbon dioxide studies performed by previous DePaul University students, the methods of this experiment involve launching a HAB carrying an ozone monitor and using the measured ozone concentrations to calculate ozone exchange values for each launch day. The data acquired from the HAB launches were not consistent with surface uptake. It was concluded that the HAB method was an ineffective method for measuring ozone uptake. This was due to the fact that ozone is both created and destroyed in the atmosphere through a series of chemical reactions as opposed to having a simple relationship with surface exchange via plants. Due to these complications, ozone production and destruction values were calculated for different altitude intervals throughout the atmosphere.