Scientists track UK greenhouse gases

Researchers are taking to the air and sea to create a detailed map of UK greenhouse gases.

Harmful greenhouse gases emitted from various UK sources, such as industry, landfill and agriculture will be mapped using satellite, aircraft, and ship.

The results of the University-led project will be used to track progress on Government targets to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

Air and sea

This will deliver robust greenhouse gas emissions estimates from the UK and the world. Such comprehensive data should help track progress towards tackling climate change.

Professor Paul PalmerSchool of GeoSciences

A team led by the University will fly across the UK in a research aircraft equipped with sensors to measure carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in the air.

Similar sensors on a North Sea ferry will measure gas concentrations offshore.

Air samples will be taken from towers, several storeys high, located across the UK.

Measurements from these towers in south-east England, including the BT Tower in London, will enable the first long-term study of greenhouse gas emissions from the capital.

Global picture

The movement of UK greenhouse gases will be tracked using observations from European, US and Japanese satellites.

This will help researchers improve the current understanding of how, in a global context, UK emissions to the atmosphere affect climate change.

Joint study

Research partners include the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Leeds, Leicester and Manchester. They will work alongside the NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Met Office and the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The four-year project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.