Met Office staff collect samples of the air on Ascension Island as part of the Global Atmosphere Watch which helps scientists measure, track and understand the rise in CO2 and methane around the planet. This is done on behalf of Royal Holloway, University of London and the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who fund the equipment.
Ascension Island is a remote location which relies on limited air freight services to provide resupply of equipment. On occasion, equipment deliveries can be disrupted due to the essential prioritisation of other cargo, such as food, resulting in delays to the sampling schedule.
The Met Office is working with the programme’s owners to investigate contingency measures to minimise disruption if supplies to the island are delayed again in the future.