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Atmospheric Chemistry

Using a combination of satellite data, atmospheric models, and in situ observations, the Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory strives to understand the factors that control stratospheric ozone and trace gases that influence ozone, the anthropogenic and natural processes that control the composition of Earth's tropospheric trace gases and aerosols, and the impact of climate change on future composition.

Other Resources


Space Missions


Aura (Latin for breeze) was launched July 15, 2004. Aura is part of the Earth Science Projects Division, a program dedicated to monitoring the complex interactions that affect the globe using NASA satellites and data systems. Aura's four instruments study the atmosphere's chemistry and dynamics. The satellite's measurements will enable scientists to investigate questions about ozone trends, air quality changes, and their linkage to climate change.


NOAA’s Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) satellite system will expand observations of Earth that the GOES-R Series currently provides from geostationary orbit. The information that GeoXO supplies will address emerging environmental issues and challenges regarding weather, the ocean, and the climate that threaten the security and well-being of everyone in the Western Hemisphere. NOAA expects that GeoXO will begin operating in the early 2030s as the GOES-R Series nears the end of its operational lifetime.

Field Campaigns

March 2022

In September 2021, NASA will deploy assets to the Houston, Texas region to measure air quality relevant constituents at high spatial and temporal resolutions. This effort will be conducted in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Department of Energy (DOE)-led Tracking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment (TRACER) campaign, and a number of academic collaborators.

March 2022

Fire emissions in the US are approximately half from Northwestern wildfires and half from prescribed fires that burn mostly in the Southeast US. Wildfires burn slightly more fuel and therefore have overall larger emissions, but prescribed fires dominate the area burned and the number of fires.


A number of ozonesonde stations are operating in the tropics, subtropics, and the southern hemisphere in general, but with differing frequency and reporting procedures. SHADOZ (Southern Hemisphere ADditional OZonesondes) is designed to remedy this data discrepancy, by coordinating launches, supplying additional sondes in some cases, and by providing a central archive location.


The primary scientific objective is to provide time/height ozone measurements from near the surface to the top of the troposphere to describe in high-fidelity their spatio-temporal distribution. These high-fidelity measurements provide the GEO-CAPE science team with accurate representations of the PBL and FT ozone structure as proxies for the high time resolved observations from a geosynchronous satellite.