CAFTON's Scienific Objectives
CAFTON's scientifc objectives can be divided into two main
categories: improving measurement capabilities of atmospheric gases
and improving the understanding of atmospheric processes.
A) Improved measurements capabilities:
- To expand and enhance Canadian FTIR measurement capabilities
by providing hands-on training in the use of FTIR spectroscopy
for atmospheric remote sounding.
- To coordinate the measurements made by these instruments,
harmonizing retrieval strategies to derive tropospheric
abundances of O3,
HCN, and HCHO from the FTIR spectra.
- To maximize and quantify the information content and
accuracy of retrieved vertical profiles and partial columns.
- To provide ground-truth and correlative measurements for
satellite missions, to undertake validation comparisons, and to
identify issues for future satellite missions.
- To archive these data in appropriate databases (e.g.,
CANDAC, NDACC, TCCON), making them available to the Canadian
public and the international scientific community.
B) Improved understanding of
- To investigate the daily, seasonal, and interannual
variability, as well as any discernible trends, in the measured
tropospheric species, in a range of settings including urban
(Toronto, Halifax), rural (Egbert), and the remote
- To characterize the extent to which observed urban pollution
events are local or are due to long-range transport, and to
quantify the impact of these pollution episodes on tropospheric
- To investigate the sources, transport, and interannual
variability of air quality in the Arctic, assessing the relative
contributions of anthropogenic pollution and biomass burning
from Asia, Europe, and North America, and characterizing the
composition of biomass burning plumes.
- To assess and optimize regional emission estimates in North
America based on comparisons between the GEOS-Chem model and the
- To determine the influence of regional fluxes and long-range
transport on spatial and temporal gradients in column
measurements of the greenhouse gases CO2
and CH4, within the
context of TCCON.
CAFTON's Training Objectives
training objectives are as follows:
In addition to its scientific objectives, CAFTON's second major
objective, as part of the FAST program, is to provide training for a new generation of Canadian
atmospheric scientists. Undergraduate and graduate students and
post-doctoral fellows will receive training in measurement and
modelling techniques that will prepare them to understand and
respond to the air quality and climate-related challenges that
Canada and the world will face in the coming decades.
- To provide the opportunity to participate in the hardware
and software development of atmospheric remote sounding
techniques, and to work with complex instrumentation in adverse
- To provide training in collection, retrieval, numerical
analysis, and interpretation of atmospheric measurements.
- To provide training in state-of-the-art modelling techniques
based on chemical transport modelling and Lagrangian particle
- To provide training in the integration of measurements and
models to address scientific questions related to issues of
atmospheric composition, transport pathways, and pollutant
- To provide training in the validation of satellite data sets
using ground-based measurements.
- To introduce trainees to issues related to air quality and
climate, including long-range transport in the Arctic, regional
and trans-boundary transport of pollutants, and increasing
greenhouse gas concentrations.
- To enhance the educational opportunities available to the
trainees, enabling them to build collaborations and networks,
and to develop scientific, technical, communications, and
organizational skills. Such skills will make them excellent
candidates for employment in academic, government, and
industrial positions in environmental science and policy. These
skills are readily transferable to other areas, and will thus
increase Canada’s competitive ability.