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C310: The last great ozone destroyer (Lead Supervisor: John Pyle, Chemistry)

Supervisors: John Pyle (Chemistry) and Alex Archibald (Chemistry)

Importance of the area of research: 

Nitrous oxide is the major source of stratospheric nitrogen oxides and its abundance in the atmosphere is growing. The nitrogen oxides destroy ozone, balancing its production by sunlight; nitrous oxide is the most abundant unregulated ozone-depleting substance. Nitrous oxide is also the third most important greenhouse gas The sources of nitrous oxide involve a variety of nitrification and denitrification processes in soil. The atmospheric budget of nitrous oxide is not well understood nor is its current rate of increase in atmospheric abundance, but increased use of fertilizers is implicated.

Project summary:

A comprehensive chemistry-climate model will be used to explore the impact of possible future changes in N2O on both the chemistry of the stratosphere and the climate system. We will compare the role of N2O with that played by the CFCs. A thorough analysis of the known and projected sources of nitrous will be conducted. We aim to link to other projects on N2O planned in the Chemistry DepartmenT

What the student will do:

The student will run a series of experiments using an established chemistry-climate model, based on the Met Office climate model, to which we have added chemistry schemes. The project will involve the design of the experiments and detailed analysis of the large volumes of data produced. Types of experiments might include investigation of the sensitivity of the ozone/climate system to size and geographic location of emissions

Please contact the lead supervisor directly for further information relating to what the successful applicant will be expected to do, training to be provided, and any specific educational background requirements.


Morgenstern, O., et al., 2009,. Geosci. Model Dev. 2, 43-57

Squire, O.J. et al., 2014, Atmos. Chem. Phys. 14(2):1011-1024

Follow this link to find out about how to apply for this project.

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