Photochemistry & Kinetics

Photochemistry and Kinetics: A Critical Component of Global Change Research

[HPF 1 experimental set-up]On the global scale, with little doubt, the most successful intersection of fundamental science and public policy is the case linking ground-level CFC release with the catalytic loss of ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere. This scientific case led to the Montreal Protocol, with its subsequent London and Copenhagen amendments, that virtually terminated the global release of CFCs as well as the release of a selected list of other halogen-containing compounds. The scientific case was built on an unequivocal combination of laboratory experiments and measurements obtained within the atmosphere itself. The laboratory measurements of reaction rate constants and photochemical cross sections therefore constitutes the foundation upon which this successful intersection of science and public policy was built. A key strategy in the Anderson group involves not only a focused laboratory research program in kinetics and photochemistry, but also the union of these molecular level studies with the development of techniques for the in situ detection of free radicals, isotopes and reactive intermediates in the troposphere and stratosphere of the Earth.