Research Fellows Directory
Dr Detlef Mueller
University of Hertfordshire
My project is related to assessing the impact of man-made pollution on climate change. I use cutting-edge instrument technology called LIght Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) which allows us to identify pollution in the air. Data collected with LIDAR are used to assess to what extent air pollution causes temperature rise on Earth. LIDAR requires sophisticated lasers, electronics and optics in order to turn it into an efficient research tool. Only few countries in the world have the capacity developing this technology as for example the UK. An few hundred senior researchers develop this instrument technology worldwide. Ground-breaking innovations and research results have been achieved since the early 1990s when high-end lasers became commercially available. LIDARs are used for detecting air pollution (light-absorbing soot, harmful ozone), temperature, air pressure, and wind. All these parameters are needed in order to gain more insight into the causes of climate change which affects the environment, economic output, human well-being, and society. It is estimated that the life-span of people living in Northeast China is reduced by 5.5 years because of air pollution. Pollution travels around the globe and affects global and regional climate regardless of where air pollution is emitted. For example, air pollution emitted in East Asia arrives over the USA after less than 2 weeks and then continues travelling to Europe. My project targets the next step in lidar technology development, i.e.measuring chemical components in air pollution on a vertically-resolved scale. Such data are needed in order to better assess how various types of air pollution affect climate change. Knowledge of the chemical composition of air pollution can help us better understand the impact of different chemical components in air pollution on e.g. human health and economy as for example food production. For that reason this project also provides data than may support future policy making.
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