Annual Conference 2012 carbon offset donation to University of York

SkyGas: Development of a new technique for determining watershed/airshed gas fluxes

It is now internationally accepted that climate change is a very real and important threat to the future of our ways of life for human populations across the entire planet. This has lead to major societal and policy concerns about human-induced climate change and we lack some very important basic data on the sources and sinks of 'greenhouse gases' (GHGs). Some of the most important GHGs are both released and taken up in large amounts by natural and agricultural systems, yet it is very difficult to work out whether a specific area, such as a field or landscape, is a net source or sink for these gases and how changes in management and climate affect these transfers.

We urgently need new automatic techniques to deal with these measurement problems, and are currently attempting to build a totally new type of automatic ‘flying’ GHG measurement system at the University of York, using the combined skills of scientists from three different Departments. The development involves the construction of an outdoor test laboratory, which is a very obvious structure to passing students and members of the public on campus.

The EAUC donation as part of their sustainable conference carbon offsetting funding will enable us to produce a Public Engagement display which will explain what this highly visual new field laboratory is designed to do and, more importantly, why.

Delivered by EAUC