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AGA supports environmental research project into depletion of the ozone layer

AGA parent company, The Linde Group, signed an agreement to supply cryogenic gases – liquid helium and nitrogen – and other specialty gases, including helium, carbon monoxide and medical grade oxygen, to an international scientific consortium co-ordinated by the Jülich Research Centre, Germany. The gases will be used in an important atmospheric research project to assess the effects of climate change on the ozone layer. The gases will be supplied by Linde’s Swedish subsidiary, AGA.

The project, named RECONCILE, will be carried out as a series of ten flight missions between January and March 2010 from the Arena Arctica base, near Kiruna in northern Sweden. The flights will be undertaken in a Russian supplied M55 ex-reconnaissance plane, the Geophysica, which is capable of reaching altitudes exceeding 20 kilometers. RECONCILE and the subsequent analysis of its research data is being carried out by a consortium of seventeen partners from nine countries, including the Jülich and Karlsruhe Research Centres in Germany, the University of Cambridge in the UK, NASA in the US, the Norwegian Institute for Air Research and the German Aerospace Centre.

Global climate change, which is induced to a large extent by anthropogenic – or human-derived - greenhouse gas emissions, is believed to affect stratospheric chemistry and dynamics, resulting in ozone loss. In turn, changes to the ozone layer can affect change in climate, resulting in a potential spiral of atmospheric damage. The research project will provide insight into how these ozone-climate feedback loops work together and make long-term predictions about ozone and climate change possible.

“Linde is delighted to be able to collaborate with the Jülich Research Centre to supply RECONCILE with the quality gases needed for this critical environmental project,” said Nina Schroder, Sales Manager Specialty Gases, AGA Sweden. “As the world works towards trying to reduce greenhouse emissions, detecting and measuring the impact we have on the environment has become vital, and supporting this project is very much in line with one of Linde’s own strategies of reduced environmental impact.”

The Geophysica will carry sophisticated scientific instruments, including a helium-cooled telescope and spectrometry system jointly operated by Jülich Research Centre and University of Wuppertal, Germany in order to probe chemical composition and particle properties by measuring infrared emissions. By providing insight into how ozone-climate-feedback-loops work together, long term predictions about ozone and climate change can be generated.

“Improved understanding of atmospheric composition will contribute significantly to better predictability of ozone changes and how they affect – and are affected - by climate change,” said Dr. Fred Stroh, Institute for Chemistry and Dynamics of the Geosphere, Jülich Research Centre. “RECONCILE will make a vital contribution to this understanding and we are pleased to be working in association with a company such as Linde for the supply of the necessary specialty gases.”
Environmental Protection