Understanding Atmospheric Change
How quickly is the ozone layer depleting? How do industrial activities affect climate change? What can we do to improve climate change predictions? The potential impact of such environmental issues on our quality of life is immense. But with the on-going efforts of Dr. James Whiteway, the answers may soon appear on the horizon.
Throughout his career, Dr. Whiteway has made significant contributions to atmospheric science. One of the most notable was the conception of a major airborne research project to study the role of intense tropical thunderstorms in the earth's climate. This work involves several international groups working under his leadership.
As Chair, Dr. Whiteway is undertaking groundbreaking research focused on two specific goals, to advance scientific understanding and to provide a basis for predicting and interpreting changes in climate and atmospheric ozone. This entails experiments to investigate clouds and water vapour in the tropical atmosphere and studies of ozone depletion garnered from measuring the atmospheric motions that cause mixing between the troposphere and the stratosphere.
Achieving optimum results depends on first acquiring the appropriate infrastructure. Once this is in place, Dr. Whiteway will build innovative laser-radar (lidar) remote sensing systems for use on aircraft and on the ground. These systems will obtain airborne and ground-based measurements of ozone and clouds, and water vapour. The results will further knowledge about the tropical tropopause region and advance another airborne measurement research project which is studying mixing in the lower stratosphere. Dr. Whiteway will also continue to analyze and interpret results from other recently completed airborne measurement projects.
This work will involve collaborations with many other researchers at York University and other universities throughout Canada and the United Kingdom, with the Meteorological Service of Canada, and with research centres in the United States and Australia. Key Canadian industrial partners who are skilled in lidar technology will also participate.