The Interconnectedness of All Things or Studying Climate Change with Greenhouse Gases Measurements

Andrew Manning, internationally-recognized environmental scientist

Abstract: Carbon dioxide (CO2) is, by far, the most important greenhouse gas causing man-made climate change. Despite this importance, relatively few funds are provided to collect measurements of CO2, and there are large gaps in our scientific knowledge of the carbon cycle, especially quantifying carbon emissions at country-scale and regarding so-called carbon "feedbacks" with climate. This lecture, while embracing the interconnectedness of all things, will demonstrate what we have learned from existing measurements of greenhouse gases, discuss briefly how such measurements are made, and emphasize the key areas which require our attention. From a personal perspective, I will also discuss the changing environment climate scientists find themselves in, with respect to their engagement with policy-makers, the media, climate denialists, and the general public.

Background: Andrew Manning was born and raised in New Zealand, before moving to the USA where he obtained his Ph.D. at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2001, working with Professor Ralph Keeling. With Ralph, Andrew has been one of the pioneers of high precision atmospheric oxygen measurements, and during his Ph.D. he set up oxygen measurements in New Zealand, a time series that is the longest record of continuous oxygen measurements in the world. After Scripps, Andrew moved to Germany and spent five years at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, where he was leader of the "Tall Towers Group", establishing continuous measurements of greenhouse gases and oxygen on very tall towers in Germany, Poland and Siberia. Since 2006, Andrew has been in England, at the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia (UEA). At UEA, Andrew established the "Carbon Related Atmospheric Measurement (CRAM) Laboratory", where he continues his greenhouse gas research work, and also teaches the next generation of students about the urgency, importance and intricacies of climate change.

Andrew leads or participates in several national and international research projects, including the "GOLLUM" and "Cucumbers" projects. He was contributing author of the 3rd and 4th Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Andrew has been profoundly deaf since the age of two, and is particularly proud of his deaf sister, Victoria, who, as well as being a Gallaudet Alumni, has been a strong advocate for deaf and disabled rights in New Zealand and currently works for the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.