PAOC researchers have contributed significantly to our understanding of the impact of CFCs and HFCs on the ozone layer and on the Earth radiative balance. Ongoing research includes globally tracking and modeling important chemical species other than CO2. These species have positive and negative radiative contributions and together with particulate matter they modulate the response of the atmosphere to radiative forcing. Research activities include field-work, laboratory analysis and modeling studies.
PAOC is a leading participant in the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), a program that has been continuosly monitoring the rates of change of the concentrations of the trace gases involved in the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion over the globe for the past three decades. Our atmospheric chemists have pioneered the use of inverse methods, which use such measurements and three-dimensional models to determine trace gas emissions and understand atmospheric chemical processes, especially those processes involving the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere.
In other areas, work on atmospheric aerosols and other gaseous pollutants in the atmosphere form a core for research into aerosol-chemistry-climate interactions. Tying science to policy, work focussing on atmospheric dispersion of heavy metals uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making strategies on air pollution, climate change, and human health.