A database of water transitions

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


Water vapour is the most important species for determining atmospheric properties: its the dominant absorber of sunlight and the major greenhouse gas. It is therefore obvious that any atmospheric models rely on using accurate data on the absorption properties of water vapour. Modern satellite measurements also demand very high accuracy from spectroscopic databases and many current satellite observations are degraded because of imperfect information on the absorption properties of water. There is a major demand to know the absorbtion properties of water to within 1%. This is very difficult to do using standard laboratory techniques where uncertainties less than 5%, when systematic errors are also properly accounted for, are very unusual. The proposal will combine ultra-high accuracy calculations of water transition intensities with all available laboratory measurements to give the best possible transition intensities data for the atmospheric community. It is my belief that for the majority of transitions it will be possible to compute intensities to better than 1% accuracy. This assertion will be systematically tested and the best possible intensity data will be used to populate a database which will be made widely available to other scientists via the web and via standard atmospheric databases such as HITRAN.


10 25 50
Description We completely revised the treatment of how water vapour absorbs light for use in earth atmospheric models.
Exploitation Route Much of our data is now in standard atmospheric databases (HITRAN and GEISA)
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Other

Description The data has been included in major databases (HITRAN and GEISA)
First Year Of Impact 2013
Sector Energy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

Title Databases of molecular line lists 
Description Our molecular line lists have been collected as data. These are distributed directly from our own website and via other data centres (Strasbourg, BADC) and via other databases: HITRAN, GEISA, KIDA, BASECOL, HITEMP etc 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact HITRAN has 200,000 users. Our data is now central to this. Other data is having an important influence in other key areas eg Exoplanet research. 
Description HITRAN database 
Organisation Harvard University
Department Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The HITRAN database is run from the Harvard-Smithson Center for Astrophysics, USA. We are major contributors to the database.
Collaborator Contribution They evaluate data and include it in the database.
Impact The HITRAN database is a common output plus associated publication every 4 years.
Description schools talks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I have regularly been invited back to schools who wish to increase A-level participation in STEM subjects

have regularly been invited back to schools who wish to increase A-level participation in STEM subjects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012,2013,2014