NWO/NSO Beurs voor Brandende Vragen over Koolstofemissies

NWO/NSO Grant for Burning Questions on Carbon Emissions

Earth scientists Ivar van der Velde and Ilse Aben (SRON/VU) have received an NWO/NSO grant within the call ‘Use of space infrastructure for Earth Observation and Planetary Research’. They will use it to appoint a postdoc to measure carbon monoxide above forest and landscape fires with the Tropomi space instrument. In combination with other datasets, the amount of carbon dioxide can be deduced from the amount of carbon monoxide.

‘Research from space is necessary because the best emission models greatly underestimate the atmospheric concentrations of these gases as a result of fires,’ Aben says. ‘We want to solve this puzzle by estimating the magnitude of biomass burning from an atmospheric point of view.’ They will do so on a regional scale, above regions that show increasingly more fires, such as the western United States, the Arctic area, the Mediterranean and Indonesia.

Carbon dioxide is the most important contributor to the human-made increased greenhouse effect. Carbon monoxide is harmful to public health and indirectly contributes to the greenhouse effect.

The grant proposal is to a large extent based on the research from Ivar van der Velde (SRON/VU) into the Australian “Black Summer” forest fires.