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£3 million for major research study into UK greenhouse gas emissions

Dr Matthew Rigby, Reader in Atmospheric Chemistry, School of Chemistry, and Environmental Change theme co-lead, Cabot Institute for the Environment.

Press release issued: 13 December 2018

A study to develop new methods for evaluating the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions using atmospheric observations has been awarded £3M by NERC. The project, led by researchers in Bristol’s School of Chemistry, is vital for assessing climate change mitigation measures.

Led by Dr Matthew Rigby, Cabot Institute Environmental Change theme co-lead, the study will deploy a new generation of greenhouse gas measurement techniques that will allow us to better determine emissions from different sectors of the economy. For example, agriculture versus fossil fuels or natural versus human emissions.  A particular focus of the study will be quantifying the UK’s anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and comparing them to natural sources and sinks.  

Dr Rigby, the study’s lead and Reader in Atmospheric Chemistry at Bristol, said: ”Our work will improve the accuracy and transparency of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory reports, and allow us to better understand whether we are meeting our emissions reductions targets. “

The study is one of 14 NERC-funded projects spanning a range of important topics on major environmental issues including the impact of microplastics in our oceans, the UK potential for geothermal power and mitigating climate change.

Ned Garnett, NERC Associate Director of Research, added: “The highlight topics programme allows us to receive ideas from both the research community and users of environmental science to ensure that we are providing funding where it is most needed. The provision of top quality environmental research has never been more essential as we continue to tackle some of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.”

The Bristol-led study, entitled ‘Detection and Attribution of Regional greenhouse gas Emissions in the UK (DARE-UK)’ will begin 1 April 2019 and involves researchers from Imperial College London, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, National Physical Laboratory, the Universities of Edinburgh, East Anglia, Reading, Leicester, Exeter, Royal Holloway University of London, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Rothamsted Research.

Further information

NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is part of UK Research & Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

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