Scientific Goals

Environmental change is one of the most important global issues facing society. Air quality, ozone depletion, and climate change are all issues that receive considerable exposure in the social and political arena. The potential impact of atmospheric change on the economy and health of Canadians is dramatic. Scientific research into the causes, consequences, and mitigation of such changes is essential for informed policy-making.

The overall goal of our research at the University of Toronto Atmospheric Observatory is to investigate atmospheric change. TAO is ideally located for long-term studies of the urban atmosphere at mid-latitudes, and is able to support a range of research activities in atmospheric science. The primary scientific objectives of our work at TAO are:
  1. To make daily measurements (weather permitting) of the vertical columns and profiles of tropospheric and stratospheric gases.
  2. To identify and quantify the sources and sinks of atmospheric pollutants, and to better understand the interactions between topospheric trace gases that control urban air quality. 
  3. To investigate chemical and physical processes that control the mid-latitude stratospheric ozone budget. 
  4. To combine data with atmospheric measurements made by space-based missions such as MOPIT, Odin (OSIRIS and SMR), SCISAT-1 (ACE-FTS and MAESTRO), ENVISAT (SCIAMACHY, MIPAS), and GOSAT both for satellite validation and for correlative studies.