Bristol University receives £3m for major greenhouse gas emissions study

A Bristol University study to develop new methods for evaluating the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions using atmospheric observations has been awarded £3m by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Led by Dr Matthew Rigby, the study will deploy a ‘new generation’ of greenhouse gas measurement techniques that will read more accurate emissions from different sectors of the economy and allow researchers to make better comparisons, such as 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 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-based 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.