Understanding current methane emissions in the Arctic and simulating the impact of future climates on these Arctic emissions.
The Arctic is a major source of atmospheric methane, which is an important greenhouse gas, trapping heat in the earth’s atmosphere and contributing to warming climate. It has a short lifetime (~9 years) compared to carbon dioxide, so reductions in its emissions could bring about rapid reductions to the amount in the atmosphere, with immediate benefits for climate. Methane is therefore very important in efforts to mitigate climate change.
Arctic greenhouse gas sources need to be quantified urgently, by strength, geographic location, character (e.g. wetland, gas field), and by temporal variation (daily, seasonally and annually). Their vulnerability to change must also be assessed. This project combines ground and aircraft-based measurements of methane in the Arctic with regional and global computer modelling.
A range of observational measurements will be taken in Northern Europe and into the Arctic Circle, with field campaigns running from ground stations, and from ships and aircraft. Satellite measurements will also be recorded in the quest to collect new datasets and knowledge about Arctic greenhouse gases.
This research project directly addresses ‘Objective 2’ of the Arctic Research Programme to ‘quantify processes leading to Arctic methane and carbon dioxide release’.
Professor John Pyle FRS, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Prof. John A. Pyle’s group is involved in both modelling and experimental work that addresses global atmospheric chemistry and climate problems.
Biography of Professor John Pyle on the University of Cambridge website