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Satellite Observations of Atmospheric Composition

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ilya Mandel.

Atmospheric composition (i.e. trace gases and aerosols) has been observed from space since the 1970s. Early observations focussed on the stratospheric ozone layer but there has been an increasing emphasis on the more challenging lower atmosphere in recent decades. The global, long-term coverage provided by satellites has greatly changed our understanding of the dynamics and chemistry of the atmosphere and our ability to tackle major environmental science questions.

In this talk I will briefly summarise the different approaches used to observe the atmosphere from space – e.g. different viewing geometries (limb versus nadir), wavelength regions (microwave, IR, visible, UV) and techniques (emission, absorption). Then, I will focus on the application of the data, in conjunction with detailed numerical models, to address key environmental issues such as the depletion of stratospheric ozone layer, climate change and near-surface air quality.

This talk is part of the Physics and Astronomy Colloquia series.

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