Inverse modelling

NAME footprint for ESMS page

The inverse modelling team within ESMS at the Hadley Centre uses the Met Office's NAME (Numerical Atmospheric dispersion Modelling Environment) model together with atmospheric measurements to estimate surface fluxes of gases important to the Earth's radiative budget and integrity of the stratospheric ozone layer.

Our work includes:

  • Developing the modelling and statistical frameworks to use atmospheric measurements, independent information and the NAME model for calculating fluxes at the Earth's surface
  • Verifying the UK's anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases at high spatial resolution
  • Understanding emissions from other regions, namely Europe, the US, East Asia, and Australia through collaboration with colleagues from the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment and other international groups
  • Calculating atmospheric trends of important gases using observations from the Mace Head observatory on the west coast of Ireland
  • Coupling regional modelling with global models through collaboration with the Atmospheric Research Group at the University of Bristol.

Current Activities

Alistair Manning leads the inversion modelling program (within ESMS at the Hadley Centre), currently comprising of three projects:

  • Funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) we try and understand trends and emissions in the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases - current contract March 2012 to September 2015. We conduct this work for DECC to help them understand where inventory reports could be limited in their estimation of Kyoto Protocol gases. Atmospheric measurements can provide a completely independent method for estimating emissions. Measurements from Mace Head have been the primary source of data to calculate these emissions, however, recently the UK network (UK DECC network) has been expanded to include measurement sites at Angus, Tacolneston and Ridge Hill, which will allow us to make emissions estimates at an improved resolution and with reduced uncertainty. .
  • Collaborating with other UK groups within GAUGE (Greenhouse gAs Uk and Global Emissions) - contract from March 2013 to July 2016 Using ground-based, airborne, ferry-borne, balloon-borne, and space-borne sensors, including new sensor technology to push the boundaries in understanding the UK's carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide - the principal greenhouse gas - budgets
  • Working with European institutions to better understand Europe's emissions of methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride and hydrofluorocarbons - contract from October 2011 to September 2015 InGOS (Integrated non-CO2 Greenhouse Gas Observing System) is an EU funded Integrating Activity (IA) project, supporting the integration of and access to existing national research infrastructures, targeted at improving and extending the European observation capacity for non-CO2 greenhouse gases. The project is coordinated by the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and involves 38 partners from 15 countries.

Team members

Alistair Manning is a scientific manager and joined the Met Office in 1985 after a PhD in fluid dynamics from Manchester University.

Tim Arnold is a senior scientist and joined the Met Office in 2014 after postdoctoral research in atmospheric science at UC San Diego.

A selection of our published work

Manning, A. J., O'Doherty, S. J., Jones, A. R., Simmonds, P. G. & Derwent, R. G., Estimating UK methane and nitrous oxide emissions from 1990 to 2007 using an inversion modelling approach, 2011, Journal of Geophysical Research:Atmospheres. 116, D2, p. 1 - 19

Simmonds, P. G., Derwent, R. G., Manning, A. J., McCulloch, A. & O'Doherty, S., USA emissions estimates of CH3CHF2, CH2FCF3, CH3CF3 and CH2F2 based on in situ observations at Mace Head, Atmospheric Environment. 104, p. 27-38

Bergamaschi, P., Corazza, M., Karstens, U., Athanassiadou, M., Thompson, R. L., Pison, I., Manning, A. J., Bousquet, P., Segers, A., Vermeulen, A. T., Janssens-Maenhout, G., Schmidt, M., Ramonet, M., Meinhardt, F., Aalto, T., Haszpra, L., Moncrieff, J., Popa, M. E., Lowry, D., Steinbacher, M., Jordan, A., O'Doherty, S., Piacentino, S. & Dlugokencky, E. 19 Jan 2015 In : Atmos.Chem.Phys. 15, 2, p. 715-736

Arnold, T, Harth CM, Mühle J, Manning AJ, Salameh PK, Kim J, Ivy DJ, Steele PL, Petrenko VV, Severinghaus JP, Baggenstos D, Weiss RF. 2013. Nitrogen trifluoride global emissions estimated from updated atmospheric measurements. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Last updated: 27 April 2015

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