ERG Flying High
Posted on 01/10/2011
Throughout October staff in ERG took to the air to measure pollution levels above London. Results of this airborne measurement campaign will help to quantify the emissions of pollutants from sources within London and interpret the transport of its urban plume in relation to different weather patterns.
A series of flights were undertaken in collaboration with the Catalan Institute for Climate Science using NERC’s Airborne Research and Survey Facility, crossing London at a height of around 350 metres - only a little higher than the new London Shard building.
High resolution measurements of carbon dioxide, black carbon, ozone and particle number were recorded on each flight along with a range of meteorological and remote sensing parameters. It is believed that this is the first time such measurements have been taken over central London.
Dr Ben Barratt, who undertook the flights with Anna Font and Josep Anton Morgui said “These measurements will increase our understanding of how pollutants emitted within London disperse within the atmospheric boundary layer and interact with the troposphere above. We were extremely fortunate to be granted permission to take measurements in such a sensitive part of the UK’s airspace.”
The flights were funded by NERC in support of the Clean Air for London (ClearfLo) research campaign. An application has been made to repeat the flights in 2012 to coincide with ClearfLo’s intensive (ground based) sampling campaigns.