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

November 2017: A new paper led by CAC's Jenny Fisher and co-authored by Nicholas Deutscher was published in Geoscientific Model Development. The paper describes an improved method for simulating carbon monoxide, a tracer of pollution and fire influence, in the GEOS-Chem model. It also uses the Australian TCCON data to highlight the benefits of using the new simulation.

November 2017: Members of the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Scientific Steering Committee were charmed by the local resident kangaroos at Murramarang during their annual meeting in November. The meeting was hosted by CAC director Clare Murphy thanks to sponsorship from the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health’s Forefront of Research Events funding. CAC also hosted the 2017 Atmospheric Composition and Chemistry Observations and Modelling Conference.

November 2017: Dr. Michel Grutter de la Mora of the Centro de Ciencias de la Atmosfera in the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, visited the University of Wollongong to see the observatory operated by the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry and discuss opportunities for furthering existing collaborations in the field of solar remote sensing of atmospheric trace gases.

November 2017: CAC members Jenny Fisher and Stephen Wilson published an "Explainer" in The Conversation: Hydrofluorocarbons saved the ozone layer, so why are we banning them?

October 2017: CAC researchers David Griffith and Voltaire Velazco co-authored an article published in Nature Scientific Reports. The authors used satellite and ground-based data to determine how much carbon was released to the atmosphere during the large 2015-2016 El Nino event. The article also featured in a press release from the Max Planck Institute.

October 2017: CAC members David Griffith and Voltaire Velazco, along with scientists from Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), celebrated with the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) the formal launch and outreach of TCCON Philippines. During the meeting, First Philippine Holdings (FPH) Chairman and CEO Federico R. Lopez said ”we at [FPH] believe that every business has a choice and we chose to go beyond our ‘business fence’ and contribute to the common good for the benefit of our environment and the people. Thus, in 2016 we declared to commit all our businesses to a low-carbon and sustainable operation to keep our employees, the communities and our assets out of harm from climate change”. EDC President and COO Richard B. Tantoco said the government can use analyses derived from TCCON data to validate the Philippine carbon footprint. The footprint will contribute to the world’s aspiration of climate stabilization by 2050 and serve as a guide for Philippine climate actions. The event was attended by representatives from the government and scientists from different universities. The project was covered in news articles in the Business Mirror and the Manila Standard.

October 2017: A new paper co-authored by CAC member Jenny Fisher and led by collaborators at Macquarie University was published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The paper presents the first two years of measurements of atmospheric mercury at the Australian Tropical Atmospheric Research Station in northern Australia. The results were also the topic of an article in The Conversation: Mercury from the northern hemisphere is ending up in Australia.

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.