SHIVA Project To Study Ozone Layer Depletion From Atmospheric Halogen
By Kenneth Fung | Featured Research
November 18, 2011
Malaysia plays host to a European Union backed climate science project, which has the potential to greatly increase our understanding of how the ocean affects the ozone layer.
AsianScientist (Nov. 18, 2011) – Malaysia plays host to a European Union backed climate science project, which has the potential to greatly increase our understanding of how the ocean affects the ozone layer.
The project, titled “Stratospheric Ozone: Halogen Impacts in A Varying Atmosphere” or SHIVA, was detailed in a briefing held at University of Malaya where Principal Investigator, Prof. Klaus Pfeilsticker of the University of Heidelberg gave an overview to members of the press.
The study involves over 130 scientists from various disciplines in universities based in Europe and Malaysia and will cost more than EUR 13 million.
The funding for the project comes from the European Union, and various national funding agencies from Europe and Malaysia.
“Malaysia is a country with the infrastructure and human resource to support our project in the Western Pacific. Also, this region is of particular interest as the waters are warm and the rainy season has the most intense convection, where gases are transported vertically naturally,” said Prof. Pfeilsticker.
The project aims to measure the levels of halogen elements emitted by the tropical oceans which are known to destroy the ozone layer in the stratosphere, resulting in the formation of the “ozone hole” in Antarctica.
Of particular concern are the levels of bromine in the atmosphere as it has a greater potential in degrading the ozone layer.
Biologists from University of Malaya, University Malaysia Sarawak, and University Malaysia Sabah as well as scientists from the National Oceanic Department (NOD) and the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MMD) are involved in this project to see the impact of the ocean, human activity and sea life on the levels of Ozone Depleting Substances in the atmosphere.
“What is really new here is that this is a convergence of science cultures and vehicular instruments to give us a comprehensive view of the levels of these gases and their impact in the atmosphere,” said Prof. Pfeilsticker.
The major collection of data would rely on the cruise of the German research vessel Sonne and complimented with those obtained from the German aircraft DLR-Falcon, both specifically equipped with sophisticated scientific instruments for this field campaign.
“Our aircraft is a very stable aircraft originally built for the military so it can fly at very high altitudes to take measurements” said Dr. Hans Schlager, of the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Also small boats will be taking measurements near the shores of Langkawi, Johor, and near Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Semporna.
The project, which commenced on November 15, will conclude on November 29.
“This is exciting as this will help us understand the air-sea interface much better and holds great scientific value, and marks a milestone collaborative project between Malaysian scientists and European scientists,” said Prof. Nor Aieni Hj. Mokhtar, Director of the National Oceonography Directorate.
A press conference is scheduled on the 5 December 2011 in Kota Kinabalu to review the preliminary findings.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Image Source: SHIVA/University of Heidelberg.
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