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The polar atmosphere and ionosphere

The Department of Physics polar researchers includes the Space Physics group who study the nature of the upper atmosphere and near-Earth space with a focus on the linkages between the radiation belts, polar atmosphere and climate. Research topics include measurements and modelling of atmospheric conductivity, radiation belt variation and losses, solar flares, solar proton events, thunderstorms, lightning properties, red sprites, and the energy inputs of all of these processes on the lower ionosphere.

The Department of Chemistry is actively researching persistent, semi-volatile organic contaminants which can travel long distances through the atmosphere and accumulate in remote ecosystems. The research group is currently investigating the fate of atmospherically transported chemicals in a lake in Arctic Alaska and in a glacial-fed lake in the Southern Alps. We have also investigated the fate of chemicals in a melting snowmelt, the sources of atmospherically transported chemicals in remote alpine and Arctic ecosystems, and the effects of brominated flame retardants on Antarctic fish.