National Physical Laboratory

Two NPL papers in Royal Society Journal

NPL scientists have published one paper and co-authored a second in the June 2012 issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A - a high profile journal that features papers from the internationally acclaimed Royal Society Discussion Meetings.

The solar tracker, which directs the sun's light into NPL's measuring equipment, in the Swiss Alps
The solar tracker, which directs the sun's light into
NPL's measuring equipment, in the Swiss Alps

The papers resulted from NPL's atmospheric water vapour measurement work and a presentation given at the Royal Society's Theo Murphy International Meeting on 'Water in the Gas Phase', which took place last year. Collaborator organisations included the University of Reading, Met Office, Imperial College London, Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

The research focuses on the 'Water Vapour Continuum'. This is a broadband effect due to the interaction of water vapour molecules which absorbs a significant amount of energy from the sun and can change with pressure and temperature. Water vapour is a greenhouse gas that plays a major role in the Earth's radiation balance, as it is responsible for around 55% of the absorption of solar radiation in the atmosphere. This means that understanding its absorption spectrum is vital for the accurate modelling of future weather and climate.

Read the papers:

View a poster on NPL's work on the Water Vapour Continuum

More on NPL's work on Environmental Measurement

This work was carried out by the Centre for Carbon Measurement at NPL, which aims to reduce uncertainties in climate data, provide the robust measurement that is required to account for, price and trade carbon emissions, and help develop and accelerate the take up of low carbon technologies.

For more information, please contact Tom Gardiner

Last Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Created: 21 Jun 2012