Researchers make first assessments of air quality at UK fracking site
The first assessments of air quality changes at a shale gas site in the UK have been made by a team of scientists from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, Universities of York and Manchester, and the British Geological Survey.
Scientists measured air quality before, during and after preparations for fracking at a shale gas exploration site near Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire. The study took place over a two-and-a-half year period so that researchers could establish typical nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and airborne particulate matter levels for each meteorological season before shale gas extraction activities started.
NCAS air quality expert to join new Defra science research programme
The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) has appointed NCAS air quality expert Dr Sarah Moller as one of six senior academic Fellows to focus on some of the UK’s most pressing environmental issues to inform and shape key future policy decisions.
The new Systems Research Programme will look at five key areas: rural land use, food, air quality, marine, and resources and waste. Sarah Moller, the NCAS Air Pollution Theme Leader based at the University of York, is leading the work on air pollution.
Summer extremes of 2018 linked to stalled waves in jet stream
The summer of 2018 brought a series of extreme weather events that occurred almost simultaneously around the Northern Hemisphere - from record-breaking heatwaves and droughts in North America and Western Europe, to torrential rainfalls and floods in Southeastern Europe and Japan.
A new study by scientists from NCAS, the University of Oxford, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam shows that these extreme weather events had something in common. The scientists identified a stalled wave pattern of the jet stream, which made weather conditions more persistent and extreme in the affected regions - regions which constitute major crop production sites and places where the majority of people live in the Northern Hemisphere.
The same pattern also occurred during European heatwaves in 2015, 2006 and 2003, which rank among the most extreme heatwaves ever recorded. In recent years, a clear increase in these patterns has been observed. The identified jet stream wave pattern also provides an opportunity for improving the early-prediction of future extreme weather events for vulnerable regions in the Northern Hemisphere.