3-2-1 UoB Blast off with Nasa

UoB teams up with Nasa in a new climate change research project

Space fans: get ready to pee your pants with excitement.UoB is collaborating with NASA in a new climate change research programme.

You may be sick of constant reminders around uni to ‘switch off’, ‘stay green’ and ‘waste not, want not’. But the University actually has an impressive record when it comes to climate change research and progress, with their website claiming ‘sustainability is at the core of the university’s activity.’

Brum boffins will work with  NASA to send a space probe 65, 000 feet about the earth into the o-zone layer.

The probe will be named in true American, melodramatic style: ‘NASA Global Hawk’ (can’t you just hear the epic drumroll?)

Now here’s the sciencey bit: those studying for a BA look away now, those doing a BSc, try not to fall off the edge of your seat.  The Global Hawk will explore the tropical tropopause layer, which is the region where the earth’s air enters the stratosphere. This region is where pollutants and greenhouse gases are transported into and out of the atmosphere, and can affect our climate.

This project will provide a unique insight into how water enters the ozone layer and so will help us predict how that protective layer will behave in a warmer-and-wetter future. The Birmingham team will provide a model to simulate the behaviour of very high, very cold, almost invisible clouds which are important in moderating the amount of water in the ozone layer.

The collaboration is the first of it’s kind between US and UK scientists and will answer fundamental questions about how atmospheric pollutants affect the earths environment, hopefully leading to other developments in climate change research.

Anyway, that’s enough science for now. Unfortunately for those of us not studying rocket science, this does not mean UoB will be sending students into space. Sorry if the headline deceived you, but we had to get your attention somehow didn’t we!