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GREENCYCLES Biogeochemistry and Climate Change Research and Training Network


Federica Pacifico

Phone: +44 (0)1392 884803
Fax: +44 (0)1392 885681
federica.pacifico - at -

Postal Address:
Met Office Hadley Centre
FitzRoy Road Exeter EX1 3PB
United Kingdom


current research | curriculum vitae | publications | carrer development plan (internal)

Current Research: Modelling BVOC Emissions and their Impact

The interactions between vegetation, climate, and trace gas concentrations in the troposphere are numerous and complex. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide mean that plant growth may be stimulated, as many are limited by carbon dioxide levels. However, the corresponding increase in temperatures mean that conditions may get too hot for some species, and soil moisture levels may fall, both of which act to reduce growth.
Vegetation is known to emit a wide range of volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), of which the most important are isoprene and monoterpenes. These BVOCs are highly reactive, and play an important role in controlling the surface concentrations of ozone. Their emissions may increase in the future, owing to the warmer temperatures. They are also an important source of aerosols, which in turn control cloud properties and the radiation budget at the surface. Increasing carbon dioxide levels act to reduce the size of stomata on the surface of leaves, which reduces the uptake of toxic gases such as ozone by vegetation. Ozone is know to damage vegetation and rising ozone levels may reach dangerous levels in the future, reducing yields from crops, and the quality of the crop.
The interactions between vegetation, rising carbon dioxide levels, and ozone levels will be studied using a fully dynamic earth system model, allowing the key feedbacks between vegetation, atmospheric chemistry and climate to be identified and quantified.

This project (ESRII) contributes to science objective 5 (Quantify impacts of climate change on terrestrial and oceanic biogenic emissions of aerosols and chemically active gases, and their effects on tropospheric chemistry).

Curriculum Vitae

Since June 2007 Early Stage Researcher within the GREENCYCLES MC-RTN at the Met Office (UK) and PhD Student at the University of Bristol
Dec. 2006-Jun 2007 ISAC-CNR, Bologna, Italia
High resolution Meteorological modelling to forecast extreme events on the Mediterranean area (RISKMED)
Jul.-Nov. 2006 GALILEO AMBIENTE, Milano, Italia
Atmospheric Pollution and Electrosmog
Jan.-Jun. 2006 ARPA Lombardia, Varese, Italia,
2005 Degree in Physics concerning Environment and Earth
Universita’ degli Studi di Milano, Italia


S. Casadei, M. Giugliano, G. Lonati, F. Pacifico, G. Valli, R. Vecchi, 2006: Valutazione dell’altezza dello strato rimescolato nell’area urbana di Milano nel biennio 2003-2004 (Mixing layer height in the urban area of Milan during 2003-2004). Ingegneria Ambientale, anno XXXV, n.4, April 2006, pp155-168.

M.M. Miglietta, S. Davolio, A. Moscatello, F. Pacifico, and R. Rotunno, 2008: The role of surface fluxes in the development of a tropical-like cyclone in southern Italy. Adv. Sci. Res., 2, 35-39, 2008 (abstract)

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