Tracking how air moves at night near the Earth's surface could provide insights into how air pollution spreads and when it's best to apply pesticides. This week, a team of National Science Foundation-funded researchers will launch a project to do just that. The two-month experiment -- called Stable Atmospheric Variability and Transport, or SAVANT -- will run from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 in and near Mahomet, Illinois, and will measure air flow in what's known as a stable boundary layer. Stable boundary layers form at night over land when the Earth is cooler. Despite their frequent occurrence, they're relatively difficult to understand and observe. For these reasons, they've previously been underrepresented in atmospheric models.
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