The international Montreal Protocol limits the production of
substances that contain chlorine and bromine. York researchers used the
Experiment (ACE) satellite to monitor the decay of halogen-containing
molecules in the
stratosphere and to re-evaluate their atmospheric lifetimes. This York
research also determined
that oceans represent a vast reservoir of organohalogens, which are
released to air and impact
significantly on ozone destruction. The research results have been
incorporated into the
conclusions of the World Meteorological Organization/United Nations
(WMO/UNEP) Scientific Assessments on Ozone Depletion, the pre-eminent
knowledge base used
for international policy and domestic legislation. Experimental
infrastructure created in this York
research now contributes to UK Government obligations under the United
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and informs it of long-term
Atmospheric science research in the Department of Chemistry, University
of Cambridge has played a leading role in demonstrating the depletion of
the ozone layer following anthropogenic emissions of halogenated compounds
and other Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). This research has been a key
input into the series of assessment reports that have made the case to
policy makers for the strengthening of the Montreal Protocol. The research
underpinning these reports has made a vital contribution to a number of
changes to the Protocol that have ensured a more rapid phase-out of a
wider range of ODS and their replacements, leading to significant global
health and climate benefits during the REF period. Researchers at
Cambridge have helped to raise global awareness of these benefits, helping
to maintain support for the Protocol among policy makers and the public,
and supported European legislation to limit the environmental impact of
ODS and their replacements.
Successful policy formulation and effective action on ozone depletion and
climate change, both of
which have profound environmental implications, depend on the availability
of credible data on
atmospheric gases. Research conducted in the School of Chemistry at the
University of Bristol
between 1992 and 2013 has played a leading role in global efforts to
achieve reliable, long-term
measurement of climatically important gases such as CO2, CH4
and N2O. When combined with
models of atmospheric gas transport, these observations provide an
independent means of
assessing natural and man-made emissions. This work is used by the UK's
Department of Energy
and Climate Change (DECC) for monitoring compliance with international and
identifying priorities for improving inventory accuracy, assessing the
UK's progress towards targets
set in the Montreal and Kyoto Protocols, evaluating the impact of policy,
and informing international
negotiations. These data have been central to recent World Meteorological
Office (WMO) Scientific
Assessments of Ozone Depletion produced between 2007 and 2010 and to the
Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment of Climate
published in 2007.
Air pollution is a major health concern and government policy driver.
Leeds researchers and colleagues have developed a detailed chemical
mechanism which describes reactions in the lower atmosphere leading to the
formation of ozone and secondary particulate matter, key air pollutants.
The so-called `master chemical mechanism' (MCM) is considered the `gold
standard' and has been used by the UK government and industry groups to
inform their position on EU legislation and by the US EPA to validate and
extend their regulatory models. The Hong Kong Environmental Protection
Department has used the MCM to identify key ozone precursors and provide
evidence for abatement strategies.
The UK's Climate Change Bill (2008) proposed a reduction in carbon
dioxide emissions of 60% by 2050. Tyndall-Manchester's research concluded
this target was inconsistent with the government's repeated commitment to
a temperature rise of no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
It demonstrated a minimum 80% reduction was necessary;
scientifically-robust policies must be based on `cumulative emissions'
(carbon budgets); and that targets should include emissions from aviation
and shipping. All three recommendations are now explicitly enshrined in
primary legislation, with the responsible Secretary of State acknowledging
the "signal contribution" of Tyndall-Manchester's research to the
2008 Climate Change Act.
Impact type: Public Policy
Significance: The research provided evidence for formulation of
government policies to ameliorate poor air quality, to which fine
particulate matter (PM2.5), O3 and NO2
are the most important contributors; PM2.5 alone reduces
average life expectancy in the UK by 6 months and costs £9bn-£20bn a year.
The research has been incorporated into UK national guidance and
policy-evidence documents for Defra, the Health Protection Agency, and the
Beneficiaries are the public and the environment.
Research; date; attribution: EaStCHEM research (1995-2011) (a)
established reliable techniques to measure NO2 for a national
protocol, and (b) quantified the impact of pollutant emissions on PM2.5
and O3 concentrations, and on hospital admissions and deaths.
Heal (EaStCHEM) led the research and wrote, collaboratively in some cases,
the reports and the work cited.
Reach: UK wide.
This impact case concerns the stimulation of public discourse, informing
the awareness, attitudes and understanding of the public as to the
potential for automating science, and the consequences that then arise
regarding ethics, rights and the acquisition of knowledge. It also
concerns debate among legal practitioners.
The Robot Scientist was the first system to fully automate the process of
scientific investigation. This work showed that it was possible. The idea
was immediately picked up by the popular press and covered worldwide (the
fourth most significant discovery in 2009 according to TIME magazine,
reported by TV, radio, national newspapers and magazines, and bloggers).
It engaged the public in debate about AI, robotics, lab automation, and
Research into industrial process tomography has been performed at the
University of Leeds from 1999 to the present day with much of this being
in collaboration with Industrial Tomography Systems plc (ITS). This
research, together with the associated intellectual property, has provided
the foundation of 5 innovative new products developed and produced by ITS
during the eligible period. These new products have generated sales of £5m
and are in large part responsible for increases in turnover and employment
of approximately 60%, and exports of 67% since 2008. These instruments are
used in a significant number of new applications and are generating major
benefits to end users in the oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, chemicals,
consumer products, minerals and food sectors.
Tyndall-Manchester's research into UK aviation emissions was instrumental
in overturning the prevailing orthodoxy, which regarded aviation as an
unproblematic, small source of greenhouse gas emissions. Identifying
drivers of growth and key characteristics of aviation's emerging emissions
trajectory demonstrated that aviation could soon dominate national
emissions if left unchecked. Tyndall-Manchester's research contributed to
aviation's inclusion in sub-national, national and international climate
policies. Specifically, it was highly influential in debates leading to
including international aviation in the UK's 2050 emissions target;
bringing aviation into
the European Union's Emission Trading System. It
continues to inform debate around future UK airport expansion, and is used
to guide campaigning objectives of major environmental NGOs and lobby
Halocarbons in the atmosphere can be both ozone-depleting and greenhouse
gases. Our halocarbon research has formed a vital part of the science that
has underpinned the Montreal Protocol on `Substances that Deplete the
Ozone Layer'. Whilst this Protocol was originally ratified in 1987, it is
amended at regular intervals based on the latest scientific evidence as
reported through quadrennial World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Ozone
Assessments. Our research has contributed to the Assessments in 1994,
1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010, as well as IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change) assessments. These assessments have led directly to
reductions in emissions of a large number of halocarbons and consequently
major climate and health benefits worldwide; e.g. UEA research on methyl
bromide and halons has led, via Montreal Protocol amendments, to a decline
in atmospheric bromine between 2008-2013.