Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Ascension Island

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Alex Sobel Alex Sobel Labour/Co-operative, Leeds North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps are being taken to ensure that the British air sampling station on Ascension Island remains operational.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

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.

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