Scientist Profile - Laura Wilcox
Dr Laura Wilcox is a research scientist from NCAS-Climate. She works in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading studying the effects of aerosols on the climate. Laura studied Physics at the University of Oxford, and then moved to the University of Reading to complete an M.Sc in Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate. Laura then continued to complete a Ph.D at the University of Reading.
ICE-D - clouds and dust in Africa
A project studying the influence of Saharan desert dust on clouds is currently taking place in Praia, on the island of Santiago, Cape Verde. The collaborative project called the Ice in Clouds Experiment - Dust (ICE-D) involves participants from NCAS, the Met Office and the Universities of Leeds, Manchester, Reading and Hertfordshire.
The ICE-D science team are making detailed measurements of the clouds, the dust and the micro-physical processes that happen inside clouds. To do this the team measure aerosols, ice crystals and rain drops using a suite of different instrumentation including the FAAM aircraft and the NCAS X-band radar.
The FAAM research aircraft (pictured with the NCAS X-band radar) is making in-situ measurements of the dust aerosol and cloud properties. Extensive aerosol measurements are being made on the ground by the University of Manchester laboratory. The NCAS X-band radar is identifying suitable cloud regions for the aircraft to sample, observing their evolution and the development of precipitation.
Air Quality Forecast
The NCAS Air Quality Forecast (AQF) system is a research tool used by the scientific community interested in the prediction of air quality related pollutant species over the UK. It provides a three day forecast of Ozone (O3), Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM2.5)
The NCAS AQF system, is operated by the Centre of Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research, University of Hertfordshire and the forecasts are publicly available. Please note that DEFRA operate the official air quality forecast system for public information in the UK.