CFI 2015 Grant to Establish Laboratory for Atmospheric Research


UBC Geography / the Faculty of Arts, through a CFI Infrastructure Fund from The Canada Foundation for Innovation and BCKDF, will establish the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research on Greenhouse Gas Exchange.

The laboratory will allow state-of-the-art climate research on greenhouse gas emissions and sequestration in Canada’s forested, tundra, and urban landscapes. The laboratory will share analytical technology, sensors, collaborative field platforms, and data management systems to study how much, when and where atmospheric greenhouse gases are emitted and sequestered across Canada’s major ecozones including major urban areas.

The laboratory will be hosted in the Physical Geography Labs of the Department of Geography and the Faculty of Arts; two of the principal investigators directly involved in the new laboratory are from the Department of Geography. Andreas Christen’s Micrometerology Group “develops methods to measure emissions of greenhouse gases over urban and disturbed landscapes”, and Greg Henry’s Arctic Biogeography Group “works on the responses of Arctic tundra to environmental changes, especially climate variability and change and associated greenhouse gas feedbacks”.

The technology developed in the laboratory can be used to select, validate, and help enforce emission-reduction strategies, and to quantify the carbon sequestration potential of Canada’s land surfaces. The infrastructure will further contribute to new technology development and transfer, in particular the development of novel sensors. The program will provide Canada-specific datasets that are currently not available, to inform, validate and improve forest-growth models, land-cover models, climate models, and urban-emission models at scales relevant for planning and decision making. The research will guide and inform the sustainable growth and management of Canada’s natural resources and the associated economical activities.