Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

Air monitoring station

Clean Air Day sees Brighton observatory partner with leading national air quality network

In the run-up to Clean Air Day on 17 June, the Brighton Atmospheric Observatory has joined up with a globally-recognised UK observatory network.

The Brighton Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) has joined up with NERC’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) as a community observatory under the Atmospheric Monitoring and Observations Facility (AMOF) network – a move which puts it at the heart of national and international level science surrounding vital atmospheric and air quality research.Established in 2015 as part of the EU Joint Air Quality Initiative (JOAQUIN), BAO is also part of an advanced atmospheric measurement network covering northwest Europe. It has a particular focus on health-relevant metrics, such as particle composition and ultrafine particles (UFPs).

The observatory at the university’s Falmer campus is equipped with a suite of measurement instruments and a meteorology station, which collectively enable continuous and detailed observations to be made of tropospheric and stratospheric composition. Continuous ground level measurements include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), benzene (C6H6), formaldehyde (HCHO) and nitrous acid (HONO) gases, and the number and mass concentrations of fine and ultrafine particles.

Dr Kevin Wyche

Dr Kevin Wyche, Reader in Atmospheric Science and Director of the Centre for Earth Observation Science, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for the University of Brighton, to open up our unique facilities and to work closer with the wider UK atmospheric science community. We are situated quite strategically on the south coast, in between two major air pollution hotspots, the mega-city of London and the industrial and urbanised northwest region of Europe, and so hopefully measurements made by BAO can help us better understand what is going on with our complex and rapidly changing atmosphere.”

Data from BAO will be freely available to the public via NERC’s Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA) later this year.


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Stephanie Thomson • June 16, 2021

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