Growing the UK’s greenhouse gas measurement capability

Silhouettes of two wind turbines and two tractors, pollution of coal burning power plants in the background

A UK research consortium, led by the National Physical Laboratory, has today launched a programme to develop a national emissions measurement dashboard for the UK.

The dashboard will be developed by the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Measurement and Modelling Advancement (GEMMA) programme.

The research consortium includes:

Single integrated network

The consortium will work together to create a single integrated network to monitor all sources and sinks of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the UK.

Achieving UK GHG emission reduction targets and supporting global efforts to limit climate temperature rise is a highly complex challenge.

Known and recognised sources and sinks are currently accounted for in UK net emissions.

Accurate ongoing measurement

However, Earth’s climate responds to all contributions, whether known or not, which is why accurate ongoing measurement of GHG emissions in the UK is crucial.

Firstly, to identify their sources of origin and then to mitigate and reduce them.

GEMMA will cement a ‘top-down’ systems approach to further complement the detail of traditional ‘bottom-up’ inventories and provide the best available UK net emissions information.

Research, develop, demonstrate

Over the next two years, the team will research, develop and demonstrate a system which will allow the UK to measure and assess changes in atmospheric GHG on a monthly basis.

The investment in new capability will bolster efforts to improve national GHG data, which provide powerful and timely insight into the UK’s net zero transition.

Professor Sir Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) said:

By working collectively and leveraging new and existing investment and activity, we are harnessing the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale, complex challenges.

This investment falls under the umbrella of Building a Green Future, one of five UKRI strategic themes of our five-year strategy Transforming Tomorrow Together, and aims to accelerate the green economy by supporting research and innovation that unlock solutions essential to achieving net zero in the UK by 2050.

Further information

NERC is investing in the GEMMA programme through partners NPL, NCAS, NCEO, University of Bristol and the Met Office to quickly establish UK science capability as critical infrastructure in a systems approach to net zero.

The programme budget is £12 million funded as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) strategic theme ‘building a green future’ and NERC and in-kind contributions from NPL and Met Office.

Top image:  Credit: acilo, E+ via Getty Images

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