Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry

Welcome to
the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry

Research at the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry advances understanding of atmospheric trace gas and aerosol chemistry, atmosphere/biosphere exchange of trace gases, and long term changes in atmospheric composition and chemistry - from the laboratory to the field and at local to global scales.

Over more than 20 years, we have established the most intensive atmospheric composition and chemistry research and training program in Australian universities. We collaborate widely in Australian and international atmospheric science communities including other universities, CSIRO, ANSTO, BOM, federal and state government departments and international networks.

CAC will be hosting the 2015 Atmospheric Composition Observations and Modelling Conference (ACCOMC) in November. More information is available on the meeting website.

Recent CAC News

July 2015: A new paper involving CAC members David Griffith, Nicholas Deutscher, and Voltaire Velazco has been published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. In this paper long term records of CO2 measured by two satellite instruments are reanalysed in a consistent way and compared to ground based validation measurements from the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (including UOW measurements from Wollongong and Darwin). The reanalysis shows good consistency between the datasets, improving the extraction of global trends and variability from the satellite data.

July 2015: Parliamentary Secretary Bob Baldwin and Craig Kelly MP launched the Western Air-Shed and Particulate Study for Sydney (WASPSS), a project of the National Environmental Sciences Programme (NESP) Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub. The project is being led by CAC's Clare Murphy, with contributions from several CAC researchers.

July 2015: A 6 year study on one of the atmospheric “engine house” reactions has just been published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. CAC member Stephen Wilson has presented measurements made of a key process in generating the OH radical, an essential reactive species in the atmosphere. For example, OH is critical in removing atmospheric methane, one of the major greenhouse gases. The study was based at the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station in Tasmania, a federally funded initiative that CAC has had close ties with for over 20 years.

July 2015: A second paper featuring CAC's collaborative work on the Southern Hemisphere Model Intercomparison Project (SHMIP) has just been published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. CAC members Jenny Fisher, Clare Murphy, Nicholas Jones, and David Griffith contributed to this analysis of global model ability to represent atmospheric CO and HCHO in the Southern Hemisphere, pointing to large uncertainties in biogenic emissions and chemistry. A companion paper led by CAC was published earlier this year.

July 2015: Nicholas Deutscher and PhD student Joel Wilson took part in a campaign at Sodankylä, Finland focussed around AirCore measurements from 18-26 June. Read about their experiences and the science behind AirCore on Nick's blog.

For more updates from CAC, check out our What's Cool page.

CAC Research Themes


Trace Gas Measurements: 

Determining the amounts, sources and sinks of atmospheric trace gases with solar remote sensing, in situ and flux measurements, including operating two sites in the TCCON and NDACC networks.


Modelling and Analysis: 

Using global models and developing advanced analysis methods to interpret measurements, probe datasets, and test theories of atmospheric composition and chemistry.


Laser Photochemistry and Spectroscopy: 

Investigating photodissociation action spectroscopy, radical chemistry and microdroplet dynamics using pulsed-laser spectroscopy and mass spectrometry techniques.


Fire Emissions: 

Using remote-sensing spectrometric techniques to quantify emissions from vegetation fires to the atmosphere.


Agricultural Emissions: 

Developing and applying novel techniques to measure greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural practices and identifying effective strategies to mitigate emissions from the industry.

Radiation - SIPEX

Solar Radiation and Aerosols: 

Following changes in particles in the atmosphere to understand their impact, formation, and fate.