Abstract Comparison of several methods of measuring cosmic-ray intensities in the stratosphere is presented. Assuming the observed intensity distributions at various elevations, the relations between the vertical intensity and that measured by single counters and by electroscopes is developed. It is shown how geometry affects intensities measured with counters. The observations are found to indicate that the radiation at high elevations (0.75 m. water equivalent) is 1.1 ± 0.1 times more ionizing than at lower elevations (4 m. water). This effect is due to the passage of simultaneous shower rays through the instrument, as well as single rays of higher than average specific ionization. It is further shown that low pressure counters measure a quantity statistically proportional to that observed with electroscopes. The differences between high pressure and low pressure counters are discussed.