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Chemical composition and climate

Methane bubbles trapped in frozen river
Improving our understanding of methane (CH4), an important greenhouse gas, from space, using ground-based instruments and performing satellite quality control studies.
world map ground-based FTIR stations and HCHO data
A homogenized formaldehyde (HCHO) data set from FTIR measurements has been developed including more than 25 stations over the world.
Tropospheric Ozone
Monitoring tropospheric ozone is key to verifying whether scientific understanding and regulations are sufficient to protect public health and ecosystems.
Endeavour Space Shuttle in front of atmosphere
To study the impact of global atmospheric currents in the stratosphere and mesosphere on the ozone layer and on nitrous oxide (N2O) we compared datasets.
Simulated surface CO concentration by WRF-GHG”
BIRA-IASB implemented the WRF-GHG model to simulate the transport and surface fluxes of CO2, CH4 and CO with a spatial resolution up to 1 km2.
Maïdo observatory Reunion Island
European research infrastructures ensure long-term state-of the-art measurements of atmospheric constituents from ground-based instruments.
Maïdo observatory with ocean and clouds
VOC measurements in La Réunion to search for clues on missing sources of VOCs in biomass burning plumes from Africa.
Tree cover distribution in 2000
Satellite observations might help to answer that question and better account for human-driven land use practices (forest to crop or pasture conversion, logging and urbanization).
Wildfires key source of aerosols
Understanding aerosols, and in particular the particle size, is a major issue for the study and modelling of climate change.
Reddish sunsets or sunrises aerosol particles
BIRA-IASB provides atmospheric data to the European Copernicus programme for various atmospheric species, including stratospheric aerosols.
Large explosive volcanic eruptions such as the one of the Souffriere Hills in May 2006 (this picture) inject huge amount of ashes and sulfur gases into the atmosphere, which remain durably in the stratosphere and influence the dynamics and chemistry of the stratosphere, as well as the evolution of the climate.
Stratospheric aerosols play an important role for the climate, since they affect the propagation and absorption of sunlight. This is why climate models have to take them into account as precisely as possible.
ICOS network
To consolidate the quality, consistency and long-term availability of ground-based (remote sensing) data needed for satellite validation and model use, it is essential to develop and maintain research infrastructures.
Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is a large source of biogenic and biomass burning species affecting the air quality and the global climate. To monitor these species, BIRA-IASB installed a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer at Porto Velho, in Brazil.
Desert dust particles
Dust particles influence the climate directly by modifying the energy balance (cooling or heating, depending on the conditions) and indirectly through an effect on wind patterns, clouds and rain.