The largest and most comprehensive effort to research air pollution in Britain is underway in London and the skies above it.
As many as 80 scientists from eleven universities are tracking nearly 1,000 different types of gases and particles in the atmosphere.
Pollutants are being measured on the ground, at the top of BT Tower and from a research plane circling the capital.
The project is timed to provide reams of data during the Olympic Games.
It is also intended to help improve air quality forecasting in the years ahead.
One aim is to investigate how much pollution is generated by the capital itself – principally from vehicles – and how much blows in from the industrial centres of continental Europe.
London is frequently in breach of international air quality standards set by the EU and World Health Organisation.