Research Spotlight

Rwanda Observatory

Rwanda Climate Change Observatory

The Center for Global Change Science (Professor Ronald Prinn, Director) is collaborating with the Ministry of Education of Rwanda to establish a major Climate Change Observatory and develop educational and research programs in climate science that use the Observatory measurements. This involves: preparation and construction of sites for both a permanent observatory on Mt. Karisimbi, and for an interim observatory on Mt. Mugogo for testing and training; acquisition and installation of meteorological and atmospheric gas analyzing instruments; and training of technicians to operate and maintain the instruments and their data output. Dr. Kat Potter is the initial resident PI. The Rwandan Observatory is intended to become part of the international global AGAGE network (sponsored by NASA and several foreign governments’ agencies).

Learn more about the Center for Global Change Science here.

Research Spotlight:


Exploring stratospheric ozone changes and their influence on tropospheric climate

While the Antarctic ozone hole represents the most spectacular example of ozone depletion, losses of ozone have occurred in other regions of the world, raising questions about their origins, magnitude, and influences on climate. The Solomon group’s foci include detailed examination of changes in ozone in the tropical and mid-latitude lower stratosphere, their radiative effects, and the range of uncertainties in estimates of how much ozone has changed in these regions. A recent project showed that tropical lower stratospheric ozone losses could be larger than generally thought, with a potential for important effects on climate.

Learn more about the Solomon group’s research here.


Research Spotlight:


Investigating the relative impacts of future emissions, climate and land use change

Atmospheric composition is evolving on timescales from seconds to decades in response to changes in emissions and climate. In the Heald group, research is focused on understanding the critical role that land use change and biosphere-atmosphere interactions can also play in controlling future atmospheric composition. We use state of the art global climate models to explore these coupled processes. For example, a recent project investigated how the bark beetle infestation of the last decade has impacted natural emissions and air quality in Western North America.

Learn more about the Heald group’s research here.


Research Spotlight:


Clouds can be ‘supercharged’ by lead

By combining field collections of the ice crystals with laboratory measurements the Cziczo group has been able to show that lead-containing particles act as highly effective cloud formation agents. Although anthropogenic lead has decreased since the heyday of leaded gas in the 1970’s and 80’s the vast majority of atmospheric lead still comes from human activities. Understanding future emissions will be critical to understanding possible effects on climate.

Learn more about the Cziczo group’s research here.