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Centre for Atmospheric Science

Methane plays a central role in the atmosphere, affecting the atmospheric oxidising capacity through its reaction with the hydroxyl radial (OH), air quality through its role as an ozone precursor, and climate through its greenhouse gas properties.  

I'm interested in modelling methane, its processes, feedbacks and their effects on other parts of the Earth system. I use a new methane emissions-driven version of the UK Earth system model (UKESM1-CH4). This is an important update from the current standard treatment of methane, where the concentration of methane is fixed at the surface.  

The first part of my PhD involved evaluation of the model performance compared to historical data and previous models. Some of these results can be found in the model description and evaluation paper (see Publications below). 

I am now using the new capability of UKESM1-CH4 to change emissions directly and to vary their spatial distribution. 

To estimate the maximum impact of future anthropogenic methane emissions, I set up a zero anthropogenic methane emissions scenario (ZAME) where the emissions of methane were instantaneously stopped from 2015 onwards. The Earth system response was rapid and the methane concentration fell to below pre-industrial levels within 12 years. I studied the impacts on climate such as on surface temperature and precipitation, and also considered air quality by looking at ozone, OH and nitrogen oxide (NOx) concentrations. For more details see Publications below. 

In an extension of the ZAME study, I am modelling carbon monoxide (CO) and NOx emissions reductions in tandem with methane mitigation, and exploring the sensitivity of ozone and OH to changes in CO and NOx on a regional level.  

I'm also interested in methane policy and potential future mitigation pathways. The Global Methane Pledge was launched at COP26 in 2021, where countries agreed to "take voluntary actions to contribute to a collective effort to reduce global methane emissions at least 30 percent from 2020 levels by 2030". I am currently modelling this scenario using UKESM1-CH4, and am interested in the potential climate and air quality impacts. 

Publications

Investigating the atmospheric composition and climate response to mitigation: a methane emissions-driven approach
Z Staniaszek
(2023)
Regional impacts of CO and NOx mitigation in a methane emissions-driven model
Z Staniaszek, PT Griffiths, GA Folberth, FM O'Connor, AT Archibald
(2023)
Description and Evaluation of an Emission‐Driven and Fully Coupled Methane Cycle in UKESM1
GA Folberth, Z Staniaszek, AT Archibald, N Gedney, PT Griffiths, CD Jones, FM O’Connor, RJ Parker, AA Sellar, A Wiltshire
– Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
(2022)
14,
ARTN e2021MS002982
The role of future anthropogenic methane emissions in air quality and climate
Z Staniaszek, PT Griffiths, GA Folberth, FM O'Connor, NL Abraham, AT Archibald
– npj Climate and Atmospheric science
(2022)
5,
21
The role of future anthropogenic methane emissions in air quality and climate
Z Staniaszek, PT Griffiths, GA Folberth, FM O’Connor, NL Abraham, AT Archibald
– npj Climate and Atmospheric Science
(2022)
5,
21
Climate and composition impacts of a net-zero anthropogenic methane future using an emissions-driven chemistry-climate model
Z Staniaszek, PT Griffiths, GA Folberth, FM O'Connor, AT Archibald
(2021)
Continuous Isoprene Measurements in a UK Temperate Forest for a Whole Growing Season: Effects of Drought Stress During the 2018 Heatwave
V Ferracci, CG Bolas, RA Freshwater, Z Staniaszek, T King, K Jaars, F Otu-Larbi, J Beale, Y Malhi, TW Waine, RL Jones, K Ashworth, NRP Harris
– Geophysical Research Letters
(2020)
47,
ARTN e2020GL088885
Modelling the effect of the 2018 summer heatwave and drought on isoprene emissions in a UK woodland
F Otu-Larbi, CG Bolas, V Ferracci, Z Staniaszek, RL Jones, Y Malhi, NRP Harris, O Wild, K Ashworth
– Global change biology
(2020)
26,
2320
Modelling the effect of the 2018 summer heatwave and drought on isoprene emissions in a UK woodland
R Jones, CG Bolas, Z Staniaszek, F Otu-Larbi, V Ferracci, Y Malhi, NRP Harris, O Wild, K Ashworth
– Global Change Biology
(2019)

Centre Highlights

• September 2nd 2023: Dr Annela Anger-Kraavi has co-authored a paper analysing just transition narratives in European coal regions. Read the paper here

• December 13th 2022: The CCPG have co-authored a paper on game-changing innovations towards net-zero, published in Energy Strategy Reviews. Read the open access paper here.

• November 15th 2022: The final conference of PARIS REINFORCE is taking place today in Sorbonne. Read more about the event here

• October 24th 2022: The CCPG have successfully submitted a proposal for the Cambridge-Tsinghua joint research initiative! 

• May 5th 2022: We've submitted to the UNFCCC's Global Stocktake (GST). More information is available on our news page. 

• March 23rd 2022: Multiple CAS academics have published a paper investigating the future role of anthropogenic methane emissions. Read the open access paper here.

• Feb 18th 2022: Dr Parris and Dr Anger-Kraavi have co-authored a paper that develops a tool to support co-designed transformative change. Read the open access paper here.

• Dec 16th 2021: Dr Parris has co-authored a paper that introduces a tool to support plastic pollution policy. Read the open access paper here.

• Nov 22nd 2021: Dr Anger-Kraavi has co-authored a paper with Paris Reinforce. Read the open access version here

• Nov 3rd 2021: Watch Dr Anger-Kraavi at the COP26 side event: Accelerating Implementation of the Paris Agreement - Ambition and Just Transitions via YouTube.


Want to know more about our high-profile publications? Check out our Publication Highlights!


 

Graduate student

Telephone number

01223 748895

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