My long-term research goal is to understand which processes are responsible for observed variations of Earth’s atmospheric chemical composition. The chemical composition of the atmosphere directly impacts Earth’s radiative balance and consequently surface warming. It also defines the oxidation capacity of the global troposphere that determines the quality of air where we live and breathe.
I approach this goal mainly from a computational approach by developing novel mathematical models to reconcile new satellite observations with current knowledge. But over the last decade I have also led the development of field experiments using research aircraft and ground-based instruments, and have designed science requirements for new aircraft and satellite instruments.
My current research questions include:
- How do observed variations of atmospheric CO2 and CH4 respond to changes in climate?
- What is the importance of different terrestrial processes in driving these atmospheric variations?
- How can we distinguish between natural and anthropogenic drivers of the observed variations?
- What drives observed changes in tropospheric chemistry and how do these affect surface air quality?
- How can we describe human behaviour in climate models?
The methods I have developed to study Earth's atmosphere are also relevant to other planetary atmospheres. Through various collaborations I have begun to study the atmospheric chemical composition of Mars and Proxima Centauri b, and to interpret observed variations of brown dwarf light curves in terms of atmospheric features.