Seminar Series

Atmospheric Measurements to Unlock Mysteries of Clouds and Aerosols


Darin Toohey


Erskine visitor with Adrian McDonald’s group from Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder

Time & Place

Fri, 26 Oct 2018 11:00:00 NZDT in West 701 Level 7

All are welcome


It is well known that life on Earth alters the atmosphere in important ways. For example, the biosphere plays a dominant role in regulating abundances of oxygen and carbon dioxide, which in turn, affect oxidation and erosion processes and regulate temperatures at the surface. There are more subtle, and less obvious ways in which life impacts processes that are, in turn, essential for supporting life on Earth (e.g., "The Coevolution of Climate and Life" by Stephen Schneider, 1984). 1957 was a defining year in the field of atmospheric measurements; it was when Charles Keeling began monitoring carbon dioxide near the summit of Mauna Loa, and when Joseph Farman began his observations of the thickness of the ozone layer over Antarctica. Since then, numerous methods have been developed for measuring literally thousands of compounds in the atmosphere from the surface to the near-space environment. In this talk I will highlight work that I have carried out over the past 30 years using in situ observations from aircraft and balloons that have helped to unlock mysteries related to the impact of life on properties of clouds and aerosols that are essential for sustaining life on Earth. The presentation will include early work that defined the rates of ozone destruction by chlorine from chlorofluorocarbons in the Antarctic Ozone Hole and more recent observations designed to quantify the role of biogenic aerosols on cloud properties over the oceans and land.


All Welcome