Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Cloud Detectives

09.06.2005


Researchers at the University of Leicester have developed a cloud detection system which will lead to them gaining a better understanding of greenhouse gases.



The team in the Earth Observation Science Group have identified a method that eliminates inaccuracies in monitoring how dynamics, radiation and chemical processes interact and control greenhouse gas distributions, and how industrial and human activities affect them.

The UK has invested £300 million in instruments onboard the European Space Agency’s largest satellite, ENVISAT, which is dedicated to observing land, ocean, ice and the atmosphere.


The Leicester Earth Observation Science group is using an atmospheric instrument on ENVISAT called MIPAS, to study the vertical ‘profiles’ of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

As ENVISAT orbits the Earth every 100 minutes, the MIPAS collects atmospheric emission spectra from which the unique “signature” of various gases can be retrieved.

However, as the tropical Upper Troposphere has a high cloud occurrence frequency (between 40 and 60%) it can result in inaccurate concentration retrievals due to cloud contamination of measured spectra.

The cloud detection scheme developed at the University of Leicester identifies cloud-free MIPAS data, so that ‘decontaminated’ water vapour and ozone information can be used to study key regions of the tropical atmosphere.

The Leicester team has already found:

Ozone enhancement over Equatorial Africa, which may be caused by biomass burning or transport. This moves through the Upper Troposphere (UT) and Lower Stratosphere (LS) (collectively called the UTLS).

The strong presence of high altitude sub-visible cloud (which cannot be seen with the naked eye) over South America, Africa, Indonesia and Darwin and the Pacific Ocean.

Large variability in UTLS water vapour, particularly an intensely dry atmosphere over Indonesia compared to the rest of the tropical UTLS. The mechanisms of how this feature occurs are still unknown.

This Leicester research will make a contribution to a major international aircraft field campaign called SCOUT- O3 that will take place in Darwin, Australia, in November 2005.

The Earth Observation Science group at the University of Leicester will be part of the satellite support team, aid pre-flight analysis and be responsible for providing greenhouse gas and cloud information to complement aircraft and balloon measurements of the tropical UTLS.

Postgraduate research student Harjinder Sembhi explained the significance of the research:

“The tropical lower atmosphere from 10 to 21 km altitude is a significant and fascinating region of the Earth’s atmosphere, which is unfortunately very poorly monitored by ground and air-based atmospheric instruments.

“Ozone above 20 km acts as a protective shield from harmful ultraviolet radiation. However in the troposphere it is a greenhouse gas and has the ability to affect the concentrations of other important greenhouse gases in this region. It is therefore essential to study the distribution of these gases in the tropical UTLS to help understand their impact on the global atmosphere and climate.”

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Predicting eruptions using satellites and math
28.06.2017 | Frontiers

nachricht NASA sees quick development of Hurricane Dora
27.06.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>