Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Leicester scientist watch mother nature breathing in

22.09.2006
Earth Observation Scientists at the University of Leicester have been able to measure from space for the first time signals showing the amount of carbon dioxide taken up by plants, in a project hailed by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) as one of its top achievements of the year.

Using the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) on Envisat, the largest Earth observation satellite ever built, they can measure atmospheric trace gases through the observation of reflected and scattered sunlight.

Using 20,000 individual measurements a month, researchers are monitoring carbon dioxide drawn down by plants over Siberia, North America and Northern Europe. Dr Paul Monks, of the University’s Department of Chemistry, who is working on this with Ph.D. Student Michael Barkley (Department of Physics and Astronomy), said: “Usually researchers put up a tower and measure carbon dioxide concentrations in the surrounding kilometres, but we are taking high precision measurements on a continental scale. This is exciting as it allows us to see nature in action from space and begin to understand the role the natural system has in controlling carbon dioxide”.

“Analysing a year’s measurements for each continent takes 12 weeks of computer time on 60 processors, and we can actually see streaks of low carbon dioxide where the vegetation is sucking it out of the atmosphere during the growing season.”

The SCIAMACHY work on carbon dioxide at Leicester has been funded by NERC’s Centre for Observation of Air-Sea Interactions and Fluxes(CASIX) and will provide important information for policy makers and scientists alike.

Dr. Paul Monks, said: “With the rapid changes in the Earth’s climate that are now taking place, the importance of this kind of research is vital to preserving the planet’s health. We are delighted that NERC has acknowledged this and recognised it in their annual highlights.

The Leicester Earth Observation Science Group in the University’s world-renowned Space Research Centre is involved in three of the ten instruments on board Envisat. SCIAMACHY, the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) and the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS).

Launched in 2002, the European Space Agency’s Envisat (environmental satellite) circles the Earth 14 times a day at a speed of seven kilometres per second. About 250 gigabytes of data products are generated every day, providing both information for immediate use and building up an archive for future generations of scientists to use.

Alex Jelley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents
12.12.2017 | Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

nachricht How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas
11.12.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>