Global change involves a large number of complex interactions between various earth system processes. In the atmosphere, one component of the earth system, there are crucial feedbacks between physical, chemical and biological processes. Thus many of the drivers of climate change depend on chemical processes in the atmosphere including, in addition to ozone and water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide, the halocarbons as well as a range of inorganic and organic aerosols. The link between chemistry and climate is two-way and changes in climate can influence atmospheric chemistry processes in a variety of ways.
Previous studies have looked at these interactions in isolation but the time is now right for more comprehensive studies. The crucial contribution that will be made here is in improving our understanding of the processes within this complex system. Process understanding has been the hallmark of my previous work. The earth system scope here will be ambitiously wide but with a similar drive to understand fundamental processes.
The ambitious programme of research is built around four interrelated questions using new state-of-the-art modelling tools: How will the composition of the stratosphere change in the future, given changes in the concentrations of ozone depleting substances and greenhouse gases? How will these changes in the stratosphere affect tropospheric composition and climate? How will the composition of the troposphere change in the future, given changes in the emissions of ozone precursors and greenhouse gases? How will these changes in the troposphere affect the troposphere-stratosphere climate system?
ACCI will break new ground in bringing all of these questions into a single modelling and diagnostic framework, enabling interrelated questions to be answered which should radically improve our overall projections for global change.
Fields of science
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