Chemical composition and climate
The Amazon Rainforest is a large source of biogenic and biomass burning species affecting the air quality and the global climate. To monitor these species, BIRA-IASB installed a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer at Porto Velho, in Brazil.
The Quality Assurance for Essential Climate Variables (QA4ECV) project prototyped a generic system for the implementation and evaluation of quality assurance (QA) measures for satellite-derived climate data records.
To consolidate the quality, consistency and long-term availability of ground-based (remote sensing) data needed for satellite validation and model use, it is essential to develop and maintain research infrastructures.
Climate Data Records of various atmospheric pollutants have been generated, quality-assessed, and used in support of scientific studies, environmental assessments, and for raising general public awareness.
The hydroxyl radical (OH) is the main detergent in the atmosphere as its abundance controls the concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO), a primary pollutant.
Isoprene is the dominant biogenic hydrocarbon released into the atmosphere. It plays a key role in the composition of the atmosphere because of its influence on tropospheric ozone and its contribution to the formation of fine particles.
A major feedback between climate and atmospheric chemistry lies in the dependence of the biogenic emission fluxes into the atmosphere on the meteorological conditions.
Although volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have a large impact on the oxidative capacity of the atmosphere and on climate, their sources and sinks are not well constrained, especially over tropical marine regions.
Although half of the world's agricultural land is grazing land, grazing-induced flux measurements of volatile organic compounds (VOC) have not been reported yet. Researchers from BIRA-IASB therefore investigated it.
Stratospheric aerosols play an important role for the climate, since they affect the propagation and absorption of sunlight. This is why climate models have to take them into account as precisely as possible.
Dust particles influence the climate directly by modifying the energy balance (cooling or heating, depending on the conditions) and indirectly through an effect on wind patterns, clouds and rain.