The ACRG has been running a programme of atmospheric monitoring of trace gases at Mace Head in the Republic of Ireland since 1987. Measurements at this station are funded by the UKs Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The ACRG works in close collaboration with the Met Office who carry out interpretation of these data.
The atmospheric observations derive baseline concentrations and emission estimates for the UK, which are used to help verify the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, as well as feeding into other research programmes, such as NitroEurope and global networks, such as Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment AGAGE of which Mace Head is a key station.
The Mace Head site is well positioned to contrast air entering Europe from the Atlantic with emissions leaving Europe towards the Atlantic, thus enabling the Met Office to determine emissions estimates for the UK.
In 2011, the University of Bristol’s Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group and the Met Office were awarded a contract to establish an expanded programme of atmospheric observations to deliver increased spatial and temporal resolution in emissions estimates. The methodology chosen to achieve this was to establish two new tall tower observation sites based in Ridge Hill (Herefordshire) and Tacolneston (Norfolk) and to adopt an existing station Angus (Scotland).
Further information on the unique atmospheric observations network, including project reports, is available on the project web-site: Atmospheric Trends.
Further information on how DECC use these data is available on their web-site: UK Greenhouse gas monitoring and verification .
Further information on how this data is used to support verification of the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory is available in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report.
The DECC Greenhouse Gas Measurement Network