Greenhouse gAS Uk and Global Emissions (GAUGE)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Chemistry

Abstract

To minimize the risk of dangerous climate change associated with increasing concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases (GHG), as part of ongoing international efforts, the 2008 Climate Change Act requires that the UK reduces its GHG emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. To support such legislation, methods must be developed to reduce uncertainty on existing national GHG emissions estimates and monitor the efficacy of emissions reduction strategies. In 2010, CO2 represented about 85% of total UK GHG emissions, with the remainder largely from methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). In 2010, the main UK sources of CO2 were energy supply, road transport, business, and residential; the main sources of CH4 were agriculture and landfill with small sources from gas leakage and coal mines; and the main sources of N2O were agriculture, industrial process, and road transport. There are substantial associated uncertainties with sectoral estimates of these emissions, particularly for N2O.

The main focus of Greenhouse gAs Uk and Global Emissions (GAUGE) is to quantify UK budgets of CO2, CH4, and N2O from different sectors, and to improve global GHG budgets. The UK study will focus on fossil fuels and agriculture, the two largest sources of the three GHGs. We will achieve this by combining atmospheric measurements with computer models of the atmosphere, which describe the movement of GHGs after emission. We already have a reasonable idea of where GHGs are emitted but the size of the emissions typically has a large associated error. Depending on the emission type it may also have a substantial seasonal cycle (e.g., agriculture). It is therefore important we make regular GHG measurements at different times of the year and in different places. The UK research aircraft will provide the broad-scale 3-D perspective on the inflow and outflow of UK GHG budgets, complementing information from existing tall towers. The network of tall towers measure GHGs at 100-200m above the surface to ensure that the sampled air is representative of larger areas, and the towers are intentionally sited to provide estimates of GHG emissions in the Devolved Administrations. As part of GAUGE we will add to this network with a tower in the Scottish borders that provides substantially more information about the north of England, Scotland, and the North Sea; a tower over SE England, downwind of London; and we will support existing instruments on the BT tower in central London. The SE London tower and the BT tower together will allow us to provide the first multi-year record of urban emissions from a megacity. We will use GHG isotopes to improve understanding of the fossil fuel sources. A detailed study of agricultural GHG emissions will be conducted over East Anglia, allowing us to quantify the importance of this sector in the UK GHG budget. Weekly measurements aboard a North Sea ferry will provide constraints on UK GHG fluxes by regularly sampling transects of UK outflow. Satellite observations of GHGs offer a unique global perspective, linking UK emissions to the rest of the world, and we will work with NASA to develop and apply new observations to quantify global GHG budgets on a sub-UK spatial scale. Embedded in this long-term measurement strategy will be a measurement intensive to quantify London GHG emissions, where we will use the UK research aircraft to sample profiles of upwind/downwind air, validate dedicated satellite observations, and link urban measurements with downwind in situ and tall tower measurements.

In GAUGE we bring together computer models of the atmosphere, and a team of world-leading modellers, in order to relate observed variations of GHGs to estimates of the underlying emissions. Statistical approaches will be used to find emissions that best agree with the measurements, taking account of model and data uncertainties. The main outcome from GAUGE will be robust GHG emission estimates from the UK and from the world.

Planned Impact

Policy makers, atmospheric scientists, educational professionals, and the wider general public are among the long-term beneficiaries of GAUGE research. The intertwined science and policy questions associated with Deliverable A focus on quantifying the magnitude and uncertainty of UK and global GHG emissions and sinks. Our science will inform international assessment activities and will be of direct interest to ongoing international research activities (e.g., MACC-II and follow-on, ICOS, InGOS) and UK government departments, particularly DECC and Defra. More broadly, timely delivery of these emission estimates has implications for current UK legislation and nationwide commitments to international emission protocols. We will engage with MACC-II, DECC, Defra, and other potential stakeholders (e.g., private industry) by formal (GAUGE science team) and informal meetings.

We are fortunate that the general public already has some understanding of GHGs, which we will build on with a range of outreach activities using knowledge exchange professionals that already exist with our universities. First, we will establish an online presence, which can be done relatively quickly, with an outward-looking website and its centre. Downloadable educational material, in conjunction with material already available via other sites (e.g., DECC, NOAA, Global Carbon Project), will be available on the GAUGE site. This material will be aimed at secondary school kids, educators, and the wider general public. We will endeavour to make the GAUGE site current by including, for example, updated streams of data from the tall tower network. As the project progresses we anticipate running student projects some of which can write software to allow simple online data analysis (e.g., using HTML5). Past projects have identified the effectiveness of podcasting and we will work with NERC and our universities to organize these - with the breadth and depth of GAUGE activities there should be no shortage of material. GAUGE team members will also develop displays for international science festivals (e.g., Edinburgh) to advertise NERC-funded science, and for museums (e.g., Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh). We will also directly speak to the media.

GAUGE will provide career development for PhD students and PDRAs by involving them in the planning and implementation of field campaigns (including effective deployment of aircraft), presentations of results at project meetings, and national and international conferences, and writing peer-review publications. They will be encouraged to explore measurement and modelling opportunities that will exist within GAUGE, providing them with a well-rounded research experience. We will also engage talented undergraduates through funding tractable and useful summer 10-week projects associated with GAUGE activities, giving them valuable research experience in order to secure PhD placements. This worked extremely well during BORTAS, for instance, funded by a Philip Leverhulme Prize.

We will engage with the academic science community via the usual routes. We will hold regular science team meetings, which will include a half-day when we will engage with stakeholders. From a UK perspective, we will have a presence at NCAS and NCEO science team meetings, and will engage with the Royal Meteorological Society conferences. From an international perspective, we we will attend EGU, AGU, the CO2 conference (June 2013, China), and have a presence on a very large number of international bodies and activities.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Collective breath 
Description Collective breath was an artistic work produced by Neville Gabie, who was inspired by the high pressure cylinders used by the University of Bristol's Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group. As part of the project, Neville collected the breath of 1111 individuals in bespoke plastic bags, and pressurised the resulting samples into a single cylinder. This cylinder was transported to the Mace Head atmospheric research station, where it was linked to a specially made instrument. The collective breath was used to play a single note on this instrument for 49 minutes. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact Increased awareness of work - breath samples were collected during the WOMAD festival - members of the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group were invited to give a talk summarising work undertaken as part of GAUGE. 
URL http://www.nevillegabie.com/works/womad-2014-collective-breath/
 
Description A tall tower network of Greenhouse Gas measurements has been created to compliment measurements already in place via the UK DECC Network. Two new tall tower sites at Heathfield and Bilsdale have been successfully setup and equipped with GC-ECD's for the measurement of N2O and SF6, and Picarro CRDS's for the measurement of CO2 and CH4.

Ferry measurements and Aircraft campaigns have been carried out
Isotope measurements have been set in place at a background site (Mace Head) and and a polluted site Tacolneston
Exploitation Route The data from the Tall Towers, Ferry, Aircraft, East Anglia network, landfill study is being by the modelling teams within the GAUGE project to infer GHG emissions of CO2 and CH4 in the UK. The data are now available on CEDA.

The Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have funded continued operations of the Bilsdale Tall Tower when the GAUGE grant ended in 2016.
The National Physical Laboratory took over the running of the Heathfield tall tower in 2018.
Sectors Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.greenhouse-gases.org.uk/
 
Description Emission verification
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Greenhouse gas data and subsequent modelling of national emissions are compared to the UNFCCC submitted national GHG inventory. Differences in emissions are explored and rectified (i.e., as was the case with HFC-134a emissions).
 
Description Advanced UK Observing Network For Air Quality, Public Heath and Greenhouse Gas Research
Amount £4,296,371 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/R011532/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 03/2018
 
Description CRUSH2LIFE
Amount £585,987 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S001670/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 08/2021
 
Description Detection and Attribution of Regional greenhouse gas Emissions in the UK (DARE-UK)
Amount £1,028,559 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S004211/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 01/2023
 
Description HUGS: a Hub for Uk Greenhouse gas data Science
Amount £214,452 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/S016155/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 02/2020
 
Description MOYA - Methane Observations and Yearly Assessments
Amount £360,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N016211/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2016 
End 05/2020
 
Description Met Office Newton Fund - Brazilian methane emissions
Amount £179,000 (GBP)
Organisation Meteorological Office UK 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Description NERC capital/infrastructure grant
Amount £683,800 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/R011532/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2018
 
Title CEDA 
Description All of the GAUGE data has been submitted to CEDA 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact A wide range of UK based observational data is now available to the modelling community. A number of papers are being prepared. 
 
Description 13CH4 analysis 
Organisation Royal Holloway, University of London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Sample sites and sampling of bags in the UK
Collaborator Contribution Analysis of sample bags for 13CH4
Impact None yet
Start Year 2014
 
Description 14CO2 analysis 
Organisation National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Used glass flask sampling to provide a time series of 14CO2 measurements in the UK.
Collaborator Contribution Provided analysis of glass flasks for the following compounds 14CO2, 13CH4, N2O, SF6, CO2, CH4
Impact Data produced by the analysis of glass flasks are being used in a PhD project - expect future publications.
Start Year 2014
 
Description A High-density Tall Tower Network And A Hierarchical Bayesian Inversion Scheme 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation. Reporting estimates of UK greenhouse gas emissions based on tall-tower measurements and a hierarchical Bayesian inverse modelling framework.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description An overview of the flight campaign for the GAUGE project: airborne greenhouse gas (and other complementary trace gas) measurements around and over the UK between April 2014 and May 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact An overview of the flight campaign for the GAUGE project: airborne greenhouse gas (and other complementary trace gas) measurements around and over the UK between April 2014 and May 2015
by Grant Allen et al.
submitted to AS3.25/BG3.6/CL2.13/GI2.14/OS1.13

The Abstract has got the identification number EGU2016-14035.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Can UK fossil fuel emissions be determined by radiocarbon measurements? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation at the 2016 EGU general assembly. Discussing the role of carbon-14 in estimating the UK's fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions. Abstract reference: 2016EGUGA..1813474W
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Comparison of in situ N2O and CO measurements using gas chromatography, reduction gas analysis, and off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Comparison of measurement techniques for the analysis of ambient nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide concentrations. Given at the 55th AGAGE meeting, Mulranny Ireland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Comparison of in situ N2O and CO measurements using gas chromatography, reduction gas analysis, and off-axis integrated cavity output spectroscopy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation. Discussion of measurement techniques for the detection of ambient nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide concentrations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description EGU presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Invited presentation given at EGU, Vienna.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Estimating dispersed and point source emissions of methane in East Anglia: results and implications 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Estimating dispersed and point source emissions of methane in East Anglia: results and implications by Neil Harris et al. submitted to AS3.25/BG3.6/CL2.13/GI2.14/OS1.13 The Abstract has got the identification number EGU2016-12185.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Evaluating The UK's Carbon Budget Using A Dense Network Of Tall-tower Observations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation at the AGU general assembly. Discussing the estimation of UK greenhouse gas emissions using measurements from a network of tall-tower sites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Evaluating the impacts of different measurement and model configurations on top-down estimates of UK methane emissions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation at the 2017 EGU general assembly. Describing work on the assessment of different model and measurement configurations for the assessment of UK methane emissions. Abstract reference: 2017EGUGA..1911935L
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description High-resolution methane emission estimates using surface measurements and the InTEM inversion system 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation at the 2015 EGU general assembly. Results describing the estimation of robust UK based greenhouse gas emissions, using measurements from the GAUGE tall-tower network and the Met Office's InTEM inverse modelling system.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Quantifying Nafion cross-membrane CO2 and CH4 gas leakage and its dependence on sample mole fraction and water content 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation. Presenting findings related to atmospheric measurements of carbon dioxide and methane, and their dependence on water content and diffusion across a Nafion membrane.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Radio 4 'Counting Carbon' broadcast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Members of the GAUGE research team contributed to the Radio 4 broadcast 'Counting Carbon', exploring the methods used by countries to estimate their greenhouse gas emissions, and describing how atmospheric measurements can be used to provide an independent verification tool.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description The impact and importance of intercalibration and intercomparisons for greenhouse gas observational networks 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation. Discussing the methods required for calibration of UK based atmospheric greenhouse gas measurements. Abstract reference: 2016EGUGA..18.6874S
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Towards national-scale greenhouse gas emissions evaluation with robust uncertainty estimates 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Towards national-scale greenhouse gas emissions evaluation with robust uncertainty estimates
by Matthew Rigby et al.
submitted to AS3.25/BG3.6/CL2.13/GI2.14/OS1.13

The Abstract has got the identification number EGU2016-15449.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description UK Deriving Emissions linked to Climate Change Network: verifying UK greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance inventories 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Poster presentation given at the ICOS Science Conference (2016), describing the verification of greenhouse gas emissions inventories using atmospheric measurements.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description United Kingdom Deriving Emissions linked to Climate Change Network: greenhouse gas and ozone depleting substance measurements from a UK network of tall towers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact EGU poster presentation, stimulating discussion with experts from the UK and abroad on the estimation of greenhouse gas emissions using tall-tower measurements. Abstract has the reference: 2016EGUGA..18.3257S
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description WMO Integrated Greenhouse Gas Information System (IG3IS) workshop on Moroccan, South African and Brazilian emissions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Workshop with three countries to develop strategies for setting up greenhouse gas monitoring capabilities in each.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description owards a measurement-based national verification system for GHG emissions: UK emission estimates of CO2 from the GAUGE experiment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Towards a measurement-based national verification system for GHG emissions: UK emission estimates of CO2 from the GAUGE experiment
by Siegfried Gonzi et al.
submitted to AS3.25/BG3.6/CL2.13/GI2.14/OS1.13

The Abstract has got the identification number EGU2016-13678.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016