Year

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience

Abstract

Carbon greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere have grown dramatically over the last 250 years, with resulting impacts for climate and a large potential to affect human health (Stott et al., 2004; Robine et al., 2008). Several of these gases have an atmospheric lifetime from decades to centuries, taking a long time to overcome any perturbation caused by anthropogenic changes (Watson et al., 1990). Quantitative understanding of the sources and sinks of greenhouse gases is essential for predicting greenhouse gas-climate feedback processes, their impacts on climate variability and change, as well to minimise the negative effects that these changes have from local to a global scale.

Processes driving carbon greenhouse gas changes in Australia were proven to have a large impact on the global carbon cycle and our climate, but the budgets of these gases in Australia and their interannaul variability remain highly uncertain, hence constraints on these processes are essential for predicting future climate change scenarios. Investigating and analyzing changes in the amounts of these gases and their drivers requires measurements and the use of atmospheric chemical transport models that can focus on global, regional, or local scales. Here, I use a model to interpret the measurements and processes driving the concentrations of the measured gases. Based on the differences between the two I identify processes and emissions that are overestimated, underestimated or missing from the model, to improve the emissions estimates and inventories for future research.

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.