Field Work
NOAA Earth System Research Lab
Lamont CO2 Group
Colm Sweeney
CIRES Research Scientist
325 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80304 
Phone:  303-497-4771
Fax:       303-497-6290

Research Interests

With clear evidence that our planet is becoming warmer and is likely to continue to get warmer over the next century with projected increases in atmospheric CO2, the overall goal in my research is to understand the factors that control atmospheric concentration of CO2 on land as well as in the ocean.

As the lead scientist for the NOAA Earth System Research Lab Aircraft Program, my focus is developing tools for collecting vertical profiles of CO2 and other trace gases concentrations throughout North America. These vertical profiles are an essential component in quantifying the net impact that the North American continent has on atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

As the lead scientist for an ongoing time series to measure surface water CO2 across the Drake Passage my focus is to establish an understanding of the processes that drive the surface water CO2 in the Drake Passage. This research has special significants based on the observations that wind speeds have increased an estimated 15% in the Southern Ocean over the last half century. With a large discrepancy in future predictions of the role the Southern Ocean will play in the global carbon cycle it is essential that processes controlling surface water CO2 is understood. After 5 years this time series has become the longest running time series in the Southern Ocean. 

Updated September 22, 2006