Wolfson Atmospheric
Chemistry Laboratories

Innovation Way
University of York
Heslington
York, YO10 5DD

General Enquiries

Jenny Hudson-Bell
wacl@york.ac.uk
01904 322609

Atmospheric chemistry controls many aspects of life on earth. Chemical reactions in the atmosphere help keep the air we breathe clean and healthy, maintain the stratospheric ozone layer that protects us from UV radiation, and help maintain the energy balance in the climate system.

Our research is based on understanding both natural atmospheric reactions and the impacts and changes that occur when man perturbs the system with pollution.

Our research spans a wide range of studies including reaction kinetics and chemical mechanisms, field observations of atmospheric composition (both gases and aerosol), and global computer models that aim to simulate atmospheric behaviour in the past, present and future.

Our research programme is primarily chemistry based however there are many multidisciplinary aspects, with connections to other subjects such as math, physics and environmental science.

Our labs are home to a diverse range of people: from instrument engineers and software designers, with skills in physics, mathematics and computer science, through to policy specialists that work directly with Government.

We publish our work in peer reviewed journals-see some recent publications and are involved in a number of collaborations to support international science programmes.

Research completed by WACL scientists has aided industry to advance chemical detection methods and also to influence both national and international policy.

 

Although the Earth has only one atmosphere it is sometimes helpful to consider atmospheric chemistry in the context of the science and societal problems it can help solve.

Reactions in the global atmosphere control many aspects of climate. The lifetime of the greenhouse gases methane and ozone both depend on atmospheric chemical reactions, whilst the formation of fine aerosols that go
on to influence cloud and climate chemistry also depend fundamentally on atmospheric reactions.

Atmospheric chemistry is at the heart of air pollution processes that have major impacts on global public health.

Only with a full knowledge of atmospheric emissions and chemical reactions can policies be designed to minimise the impacts of air pollution on people and ecosystems.

Understanding atmospheric chemistry of halogen species is central to describing how the stratospheric ozone layer functions and to designing international agreements that control harmful substances.

If you are interested in a career in atmospheric chemistry then please look at our opportunities pages for job vacancies and PhD positions.