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.

Recent CAC News

March 2019: The 4-yearly scientific assessment of the impact of Ozone Depleting Substances has just been published both by the UN and in the scientific literature (Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences). The review of the impact on Air Quality was led by CAC member Stephen Wilson. The University of Wollongong played a large role in this report overall, as in addition to this lead authorship Sharon Robinson (biology) was co-author of two other assessments. No other university is represented so heavily.

March 2019: CAC researcher Voltaire Velazco attended the CAMP2Ex (Cloud, Aerosol and Monsoon Processes Philippines Experiment) science team meeting in Pasadena, California ahead of the CAMP2Ex aircraft experiment taking place in Southeast Asia in August. Voltaire's role involves getting flights over the TCCON site at Burgos, and complementing the campaign's science objectives with ground-based FTIR and LIDAR measurements.

March 2019: The Aurora Australis is due to set sail for the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island on 5 March, with CAC director Clare Murphy and CAC associate member Alan Griffiths on board. Very high seas are predicted for the transit. The atmospheric chemists will be busy onboard measuring a diverse array of trace gases and particulate parameters using the AIRBOX mobile laboratory, with the goal of better understanding the process of aerosol formation over the southern ocean.  

January-February 2019: PhD student Neil Page attended the one-month European Research Course on Atmospheres (ERCA) held in Grenoble, France with participants and lecturers from all over the world. ERCA covers the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere, the climate system and atmospheric pollution. The program also includes group projects; practicals using lidars, spectrometers and models; and a research visit to the Observatoire de Haute-Provence for astronomical observations. Neil followed ERCA with a research visit to collaborator Aurélien Dommergue at the Institut des Géosciences de l'Environnement.

January 2019: Members of CAC checked out the location of the new atmospheric platform on top of the Molecular Horizon’s building – agreeing the last details before the concrete floor was poured!

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

CAC Research Themes

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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.

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Modelling and Analysis: 

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

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Laser Photochemistry and Spectroscopy: 

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

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Fire Emissions: 

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

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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.