Blog

To raise awareness of climate change, GREENHOUSE researchers, in the School of GeoSciences, engaged secondary school students in analysing recent research data from Eddy flux co-variance towers in Dumfries. The venue for this recent workshop was in the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI). Its impact was very positive with excellent feedback from the students. Further proposals to extend this approach are planned.

To support the development and evaluation of the GREENHOUSE spatial and temporal upscaling framework, within-field (metres) measurements are carried out to determine the diurnal and seasonal trends in CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions over dominant UK land-covers. For each of the GREENHOUSE measurement campaigns, a comprehensive knowledge of the spatial variability in site characteristics (e.g. soil moisture and solar radiation) that may affect trace gas exchanges is key to deciding the best possible locations for deploying monitoring instruments. These instruments chiefly include the York Skyline automated chamber system and eddy covariance flux towers.

The ARSF Dornier 228 research aircraft (image:http://arsf.nerc.ac.uk) )

As part of the GREENHOUSE activities in 2015, the NERC Airborne Research and Survey Facility (ARSF) will be collecting high resolution optical and LIDAR remote sensing data over the various GREENHOUSE field sites in Lincolnshire, Dumfries and Harwood Forest, and the surrounding areas.

You wouldn't imagine that any of the great revolutions in science came about whilst sitting in a van at Corley service station, and this visit proved no exception. It will probably not feature in any GAUGE campaign highlights package. Nevertheless, as we drove on towards Cranfield I could sense the initial sparks of enthusiasm for this summer's approaching campaign flicker ever closer to striking. We were heading for the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements, known to most as FAAM, bringing instrumentation in the form of Manchester University's QCLAS (Quantum Cascade Laser Absorption Spectrometer) and CIMS (Chemical Ionisation Mass Spectrometer), ahead of the GAUGE re-fit of the large Atmospheric Research Aircraft.

Model image

One facet of the RAGNARoCC project involves using computer simulations of the Earth climate system to develop our understanding of an incompletely observed system. These numerical models help us to learn about how systems such as the oceans and atmosphere might evolve in the future as a result of increasing carbon emissions. Beyond this, they can also teach us how the parts of these systems that are difficult to observe are working. Take, for example, the ocean carbon system. We know that human activities have increased the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide since the onset of the industrial era, and that about a quarter of these emissions are taken up by the global ocean. But how does this rather important ‘ocean sink’ of CO2 work?