UK SOLAS was the UK's contribution to the International SOLAS project.
The Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study (SOLAS) is an international project involving more than 20 nations. Its central goal is
- To achieve quantitative understanding of the key biogeochemical-physical interactions and feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere, and of how this coupled system affects and is affected by climate and environmental change.
This understanding is vital to the construction of Earth System models.
The programme, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), ran for six years. It focuses on processes in and the interaction between the surface ocean and the lower atmosphere in the North Atlantic region.
UK SOLAS aims
- To determine the mechanisms controlling rates of chemical transfer and improve estimates of chemical exchanges
- To evaluate the impact of these exchanges on the biogeochemistry of the surface ocean and lower atmosphere and on feedbacks between the ocean and atmosphere
- To quantify the impacts of these boundary layer processes on the global climate system
The outputs will improve our ability to predict climate change, giving insights into natural marine production and the fate of important trace gases. They will show whether these processes are sensitive to other environmental factors. This information is needed by climate modellers and policy makers.
UK SOLAS has brought together scientists, with the skills to address these aims, from numerous research centres and universities. It worked closely with NERC's Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System (QUEST) programme.
NERC provided funding for 19 projects, led by the following Principal Investigators (PIs)
- Impact of atmospheric dust derived material and nutrient inputs on near-surface plankton microbiota in the tropical North Atlantic
PI — Eric Achterberg
- The role and effects of photoprotective compounds in marine plankton
PI — Steve Archer
- Field observations of sea spray, gas fluxes and whitecaps (SEASAW)
PI — Ian Brooks
- Factors influencing the biogeochemistry of iodine in the marine environment
PI — Lucy Carpenter
- Global model of aerosol processes (GLOMAP) - effects of aerosol in the marine atmospheric boundary layer
PI — Ken Carslaw
- Ecological controls on fluxes of dimethyl sulphide (DMS) to the atmosphere
PI — David Green
- Dust outflow and deposition to the ocean (DODO)
PI — Ellie Highwood
- Investigation of near surface production of iodocarbons - rates and exchanges (INSPIRE)
PI — Gill Malin
- Reactive halogens in the marine boundary layer (RHaMBLe)
PI — Gordon McFiggans
- The role of bacterioneuston in determining trace gas exchange rates
PI — Colin Murrell
- Measuring methanol in sea water and investigating its sources and sinks in the marine environment
PI — Phil Nightingale
- The impact of coastal upwellings on air-sea exchange of climatically important gases
PI — Carol Robinson
- The Deep Ocean Gas Exchange Experiment (DOGEE)
PI — Rob Upstill-Goddard
- High wind air-sea exchanges (HiWASE)
PI — Margaret Yelland
- Aerosol characterisation and modelling in the marine environment (ACMME)
PI — James Allan
- 3D simulation of dimethyl sulphide (DMS) in the north east Atlantic
PI — Icarus Allen
- Processes affecting the chemistry and bioavailability of dust borne iron
PI — Michael Krom
- The chemical structure of the lowermost atmosphere
PI — Alastair Lewis
- Factors influencing the oxidative chemistry of the marine boundary layer
PI — Paul Monks
Fieldwork included eight dedicated research cruises in the North Atlantic. Ongoing measurements were made aboard the Norwegian weather ship Polarfront. Time series measurements were made at the SOLAS Cape Verde Observatory and at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) L4 station. Additional atmospheric data came from a series of collaborative aircraft campaigns. These campaigns were funded by UK SOLAS, African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analyses (AMMA-UK), Dust and Biomass Experiment (DABEX) and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM).