Memorandum from the Central Council for
the Laboratories of the Research Councils (CCLRC)
1. The role of the Central Council for the
Laboratories of the Research Councils (CCLRC) is to provide the
primary portal for UK scientists to access major national and
international experimental and computing facilities and associated
centralised expertise of a scale well beyond those normally available
at individual universities. This role therefore provides cost-effective,
efficient and peer-reviewed access to major facilities in the
UK, primarily at the CCLRC Rutherford Appleton (RAL), Daresbury
(DL) and Chilbolton (CL) Laboratories, and also at international
laboratories including ILL and the ESRF at Grenoble. Over 10,000
users access these facilities per year.
2. CCLRC currently employees 1,750 staff,
distributed primarily across eight scientific and technical Departments:
Computer Science and Engineering.
Space Science and Technology.
Central Laser Facility.
Business and Information Technology.
ISISPulsed Neutron Radiation
Engineering and Instrumentation.
3. The CCLRC's role in climate change is
working and leading on major national and international research
Providing technical expertise.
Undertaking instrument development.
Undertaking modelling and simulation.
Providing data analysis and hosting
data storage facilities.
Developing metadata and data management.
Developing access methodologies and
4. Working through Space the Science, Business
and Information Technology and Computer Science and Engineering
Departments, the CCLRC works on monitoring climate change through
a number of national and international projects. The Council also
works on projects with the Tyndall Centre and the UK Energy Research
Centre. All these projects underpin the data capture required
for the long-term monitoring of atmospheric content in line with
the Kyoto Protocol. It is essential for understanding climate
change that funding is available for capturing, monitoring, storing
and simulating meteorological data.
5. What follows is an overview of some of
the activities the CCLRC is involved in, which are essential in
providing the data and simulations for monitoring climate change.
The projects are funded through a variety of organisations, such
as Defra, NERC, European Space Agency (ESA) and the Organisation
for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites.
The Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) Programme
6. The ATSR instruments produce infrared
images of the Earth at a spatial resolution of one kilometre.
The data from these instruments provide information for scientific
studies of the land surface, atmosphere, clouds, oceans, and the
cryosphere. The programme has included the launch of three satellites
since 1991, two of which are still operational. The information
and images provided through these measurements, such as monitoring
the sea surface temperatures, imaging deforestation and cloud
formations, are used to monitor climate change.
Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric
7. Atmospheric composition can be determined
through the MIPAS project. The MIPAS instrument operates in the
near- to mid-infrared where many of the atmospheric trace gases
playing a major role in atmospheric chemistry have important emission
features. MIPAS has been used extensively to:
obtain simultaneous and global measurements
of geophysical parameters in the middle atmosphere:
Stratospheric chemistry (ozone, water
vapour, methane, nitrous oxide and nitric acid);
Climatology (temperature, ozone,
methane, nitrous oxide);
study the chemical composition, dynamics,
and radiation budget of the middle atmosphere;
monitor stratospheric ozone and chlorofluorocarbons.
NERC British Atmospheric Data Centre
8. The British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC)
is NERC's Designated Data Centre for the Atmospheric Sciences.
BADC assists UK atmospheric researchers to locate, access and
interpret atmospheric data and to ensure the long-term integrity
of atmospheric data produced by NERC projects. Data suppliers
include the UK Meteorological Office, the European Centre for
Medium-range Weather Forecasts and NASA.
NERC Earth Observation Data Centre
9. The NERC Earth Observation Data Centre
(NEODC) is the curator of NERC's airborne remotely-sensed data
and of satellite data acquired by NERC from commercial sources.
Data are held securely and distributed in response to customer
requests. The Data Centre ensures Earth observation data acquired
by NERC are managed for the environmental research and survey
10. The NEODC acts as a portal for Earth
Observation data and information and also provides advice and
guidance on matters of copyright, policy and strategy with regard
to NERC Earth Observation data resources.
11. The NERC DataGrid, hosted by the CCLRC,
allows grid-based visualisation services to access a wide variety
of data held at the BADC and the British and Oceanographic Data
as well as on individual storage systems belonging to groups which
register their data with the NERC DataGrid. The NERC DataGrid
supports specific datasets within the meteorological and oceanographic
community. The technology is extensible and is designed to allow
appropriate data which are held across all the NERC disciplines
to be available via the NERC DataGrid.
Millimetre-wave Airborne Receiver for Spectroscopic
Characterisation of Atmospheric LimbSounding (MARSCHALS)
12. MARSCHALS measures gaseous components
of the Earth's atmosphere from high altitude in the Upper Troposphere/
Lower Stratosphere (UTLS). This is a major focus for atmospheric
research due to the importance of this region to climate radiative
forcing, stratosphere/troposphere exchange, stratospheric ozone
depletion and tropospheric chemistry. In response to a growing
need for information about the UTLS, ESA has defined a programme
to develop and deploy MARSCHALS.
Molecular Spectroscopy Facility (MSF)
13. The MSF at the CCLRC enables researchers
to simulate atmospheric events and gases to look at their potential
global warming effects, and is available to UK and international
customers for a wide range of scientific research and development
applications. The Facility offers world-class scientific equipment
combined with scientific and technical support from qualified
and experienced staff. The MSF aspires to meet the needs of academic
and industrial researchers by:
operating in the far-infrared, mid-infrared,
near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum;
measuring absorption, extinction,
reflectance and emission spectra; and
studying solid, liquid, aerosol and
The High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS)
14. The HIRDLS instrument is an international
joint development project between the USA and UK and was launched
on the 15 July 2004. HIRDLS is a multi-channel limb-viewing infrared
radiometer for high-resolution monitoring of upper tropospheric,
statospheric, and mesospheric temperature, trace chemicals, and
geopotential height gradients. These are the key elements that
are needed to understand the chemistry and dynamics of those regions,
including the roles of planetary and gravity waves in transporting
and mixing radiatively and chemically active species that are
important to climate change.
The Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME)
15. The GOME
instrument is onboard the ESA satellite ERS-2 and is a moderate
resolution spectrometer which measures the radiation reflected
and emitted by the Earth. From this information it is possible
to infer, to various degrees, the distribution of different trace
gases within the atmosphere. In particular, the work of the CCLRC,
funded by NERC, has been retrieving the vertical distribution
of ozone in both the stratosphere and troposphere. GOME is the
first satellite instrument which is able to do this on a global
16. Following the success of GOME, an improved
is intended to provide a continuous record of global observations
from 2006-20, designed to measure the total column and profiles
of atmospheric ozone and the distribution of other key atmospheric
constituents. GOME-2 will measure the radiance back-scattered
from the atmosphere and the surface of the Earth in the ultraviolet
and visible range. Although designed primarily for the measurement
of profiles of atmospheric ozone, the instrument detects and measure
several atmospheric trace gases. These include nitrogen compounds,
halogen compounds and sulphur dioxide. Furthermore, the wide wavelength
coverage permits monitoring of aerosols and polar stratospheric
Scanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric
17. SCIAMACHY is a limb (horizon) and nadir
viewing instrument which provides global measurements of trace
gas concentrations in the troposphere and stratosphere. The instrument,
an imaging spectrometer, scans the atmosphere between the Earth's
surface and an altitude of about 90 km (56 miles) and can detect
a range of trace gases, aerosols, cloud height and coverage. The
data captured are important for a number of important environmental
issues such as the emissions of greenhouse gases, the amount of
industrial pollution and the role of natural atmospheric processes
such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires in the changing composition
of the atmosphere and cloud coverage.
18. EARTHSHINE will be the UK's first deep-space
mission and will use small satellite technology at large distances
from the Earth. It is a novel concept for a low-cost, fast, responsive
project that builds on the UK's past involvement in small satellite
development. EARTHSHINE will make a unique set of observations
that are vital to a wide variety of scientific disciplines. By
carrying just four instruments, each carefully designed to combine
with the other three, it will answer key questions about how Earth's
climate and space environment are influenced by the Sunquestions
that have vital social, political and financial as well as scientific
Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO)
19. HMNAO is based within SSTD at the CCLRC.
HMNAO is responsible for producing the annual volumes of The Astronomical
Almanac, The Nautical Almanac, Astronomical Phenomena, The Star
Almanac and The UK Air Almanac in the United Kingdom. Several
of these publications are produced in collaboration with our colleagues
at the US Naval Observatory.
20. HMNAO also produces astronomical data
suitable for a wide range of users, including professional and
amateur astronomers, mariners, aviators, surveyors, the armed
forces, lawyers, religious groups, architects, schools, diary
and calendar publishers, photographers and film crews.
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