PhD opportunity: Marine emissions and uptake of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide

Dept/School: School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
Project Supervisors: Dr J Kaiser & Dr D Bakker
Funding Availability: Competition Funded Project (European/UK Students Only)
Application Deadline: 19 November 2010

Every year, the world’s oceans take up roughly one quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released by human activity, a process of eminent importance for our climate. However, the oceans not only remove CO2, but also produce other climatically active gases, including methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). In the past, these gases could only be measured with dedicated equipment that could only measure a single gas at a time. However, in the last few years, multi-parameter sensors for ultra-sensitive measurements of trace gases have become available. We have acquired three of these so-called cavity ring-down spectrometers, which combine high precision with stability. At the start, the project will focus on laboratory testing and validation of one or more of these sensors for what will be the first deployment of its kind on shipboard platforms. Measurements of surface ocean gas concentrations will initially involve research ships, with the ultimate goal being autonomous operation on commercial vessels such as container ships and ferries. The wide coverage and rich data return that will become possible could pave the way for several new scientific opportunities including: – Quantification of the subtropical North Atlantic CO2 sink – Quantification of the oceanic N2O source – Solving the mystery about CH4 production in the surface ocean There are ample other possible scientific directions and we encourage prospective candidates to suggest their own ideas. In collaboration with our co-workers, it may be possible to complement the experimental work with satellite data and/or marine biogeochemical models. You will be part of a vibrant research team with a wide range of expertise of oceanic and atmospheric trace gas measurements, instrument development and data integration. Participation in national and international conferences is strongly encouraged.

Funding Notes
Funding may be available for UK/EU students. If funding is awarded for this project it will cover tuition fees and stipend for UK students. EU students may be eligible for full funding, or tuition fees only, depending on the funding source. International students will not be eligible for this funding however they are still welcome to apply for this project but would have to find alternative funding.

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