Atmospheric Composition: Laboratory Research (ROSES 2020)

Funding Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Atmospheric composition determines air quality and affects weather, climate, and critical constituents such as ozone. Exchanges with the atmosphere link terrestrial and oceanic pools within the carbon cycle and other biogeochemical cycles. Solar radiation affects atmospheric chemistry and is, thus, a critical factor in atmospheric composition. Atmospheric chemistry and associated composition are a central aspect of Earth system dynamics, since the ability of the atmosphere to integrate surface emissions globally on time scales from weeks to years couples several environmental issues. NASA’s research for furthering our understanding of atmospheric composition is geared to providing an improved prognostic capability for such issues (e.g., the recovery of stratospheric ozone and its impacts on surface ultraviolet radiation, the evolution of greenhouse gases and their impacts on climate, and the evolution of tropospheric ozone and aerosols and their impacts on climate and air quality).

Toward this end, research within the Atmospheric Composition Focus Area addresses the following science questions: :

• How is atmospheric composition changing?

• What trends in atmospheric constituents and solar radiation are driving global climate?

• How do atmospheric trace constituents respond to and affect global environmental change?

• What are the effects of global atmospheric chemical and climate changes on regional air quality?

• How will future changes in atmospheric composition affect ozone, climate, and global air quality?

NASA expects to provide the necessary monitoring and evaluation tools to assess the effects of climate change on ozone recovery and future atmospheric composition, improved climate forecasts based on our understanding of the forcings of global environmental change, and air quality forecasts that take into account the feedbacks between regional air quality and global climate change. Achievements in these areas via advances in observations, data assimilation, and modeling enable improved predictive capabilities for describing how future changes in atmospheric composition affect ozone, climate, and air quality. Drawing on global observations from space, augmented by suborbital and ground-based measurements, NASA is uniquely poised to address these issues. This integrated observational strategy is furthered via studies of atmospheric processes using unique suborbital platform-sensor combinations to investigate, for example: (1) the processes responsible for the emission, uptake, transport, and chemical transformation of ozone and precursor molecules associated with its production in the troposphere and its destruction in the stratosphere and (2) the formation, properties, and transport of aerosols in the Earth’s troposphere and stratosphere.

Proposal Due Date: Aug. 13, 2020




Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

August 13, 2020