CSL is composed of world-renowned scientists, experienced technical staff, committed support staff, world-class laboratory facilities, instrumentation and models, access to dedicated platforms, and dedicated resources to advance scientific understanding of the chemical and physical processes that affect Earth’s atmospheric chemistry and composition. By advancing scientific knowledge of the Earth’s atmosphere, CSL responds to emerging and evolving societal issues related to air quality, climate change, and the stratosphere.
CSL air quality research has three focal points: (1) characterizing emissions and emission trends; (2) understanding chemical, physical, and radiative processes that influence atmospheric composition (i.e., air quality); and (3) understanding atmospheric transport processes from local boundary layers to long-range (e.g., global; stratospheric) flows. Air quality research encompasses directly emitted pollutants, such as carbon monoxide (CO), as well as ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM2.5), which are formed by complex chemical reactions in the atmosphere that are influenced by atmospheric composition, physical parameters (e.g., temperature; humidity, sunlight), and mixing and transport.
CSL climate research has two focal points: (1) understanding aerosol interactions in the climate system; and (2) characterizing the emissions, transport, transformations, and distribution of key climate species. CSL climate research results in an increased understanding and quantification of the radiative, chemical, and dynamical processes that influence climate with a goal of reducing major uncertainties in climate models and, hence, improving our understanding of our current climate and confidence in future climate projections.
CSL stratospheric research has four focal points: (1) studying the relationship between climate change and changes in the stratosphere; (2) examining the chemistry, composition and transport features of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere; (3) developing and using instrumentation to measure key species such as ozone, black carbon, aerosol composition, water vapor, and sulfur dioxide in the stratosphere; and (4) developing and using atmospheric models to understand the dynamical coupling of the stratosphere and troposphere.