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

December 2018: CAC Director Clare Murphy was promoted to Professor and CAC researcher Nicholas Deutscher was promoted to Senior Research Fellow.

December 2018: A new paper led by CAC researcher Jenny Fisher was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. The authors used 20 years of measurements collected from aircraft, combined with a chemical transport model, to determine the abundance and impacts of small alkyl nitrates. These are nitrogen-containing compounds that break down slowly and so stay in the atmosphere long enough to be transported to otherwise pollution‐free remote ocean regions. This research was conducted using the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) national supercomputer Raijin, and was profiled in an NCI Research Highlight.

October 2018: CAC research assistant and former Honours student Jack Simmons graduated and was featured in a UOW press release about his Antarctic research trip.

October 2018: CAC director Clare Murphy gave a talk on experiences with scientific fieldwork at the University of Wollongong’s TEDx event.

October 2018: The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite-2 "IBUKI-2" (GOSAT-2) was successfully launched by the H-IIA rocket from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Tanegashima Space Center on October 29, 2018. CAC members look forward to years of providing ground-truthing data for GOSAT-2 as well as to using its latest atmospheric products.

October 2018: A study on measurements of some nitrogen oxides in Melbourne air has just been published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. The research was the result of a collaboration between members of the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry (Stephen Wilson and Nicholas Jones), the University of Melbourne, the Bureau of Meteorology and the University of Heidelberg. The surprising finding was that at a site that is not very polluted by world standards there was a large source of HONO during the day. During some days this represented the dominant source of the hydroxyl radical, the major atmospheric cleansing agent of the atmosphere.

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.