Research Area Overview
The Anderson group is engaged in a coupled array of research projects designed to establish the quantitative coupling between (1) the forcing of climate by increasing carbon dioxide and methane and other infrared active molecules, and (2) the feedbacks within the climate structure that set the time scale for global scale change. These research areas include:
- The coupling between climate forcing and changes in the free radical catalytic chemistry that controls ultraviolet dosage at the Earth’s surface resulting from changes in stratospheric ozone
- Mechanisms responsible for the increased flux of carbon isotopes into the atmosphere from melt zones in the Arctic, hydraulic fracturing of shale in the extraction of natural gas from shale, and the quantitative mapping of the nation’s carbon source/sink fluxes
- Development of very high accuracy interferometers capable of observing the spectrally resolved infrared radiance emitted from Earth to Space from low Earth orbit that is capable of establishing a benchmark data set for the testing of climate forecast models
- Observations of feedbacks that are triggered by the rapid loss of the permanent ice cover of the Arctic Ocean such as changes in the Greenland glacial structure and the flow of heat into other reservoirs of the climate system
- Laboratory studies of the photochemistry and kinetics of free radicals and reactive intermediates involved in the chemistry of the troposphere and stratosphere.
- Geoengineering directly involves a number of the feedbacks in the climate system that are addressed by the research group. The possibility that geoengineering would be considered on a global scale brings an imperative to quantitatively understand those feedbacks and how they couple.