Water vapor and its variability is known to be a significant driver of weather and climate. It is a major factor in the development of severe weather and the most potent greenhouse gas in the atmosphere influencing both the environment and the energy sector. However water vapor is spatially and temporal heterogeneous and therefore difficult measure. To address this well-documented monitoring inadequacy, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and Montana State Univeristy (MSU) are developing a test network of five laser remote sensing instruments to continuously measure high-vertical-resolution water vapor in the lower atmosphere. The micro-pulse differential absorption lidar instruments are low-cost, operate unattended, eye-safe, and have been demonstrated to be accurate.
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