Menu

Search

Rob MacKenzie

Rob MacKenzie

Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Birmingham

Rob MacKenzie was born into a crofting family in central Glasgow. Ultimately central Glasgow proved not to be conducive to crofting and the family returned to the Hebrides, but not before Rob had spent 9 happy years running around Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which was right next to his family’s tenement flat.
On returning to the Hebrides, Rob never quite lost his soft city ways, but he did at least complement them with plenty of fresh air and open spaces, so that, when looking for something to do with his growing interest in science he opted for Environmental Chemistry at Edinburgh. Edinburgh —Auld Reekie. Whilst at Edinburgh, Rob developed a fascination for experimental poetry of various kinds, and for much of the subsequent two decades he was able to combine his research career with forays into the poetry world, until typing at a computer screen all day finally “did for” his ability to turn a phrase. He was anthologised in Polygon’s 1994 collection of new Scottish poetry, _Dream State_, and his collection, _Off Ardglas_ (Invisible Books, 1997), is still available from all good bookshops that don’t throw out old stock.

A major focus of Rob’s research has been the ozone layer. This work, much of which was carried out whilst Rob was Scientific Coordinator of the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Cambridge, used observations to test models of the chemistry and physics of ozone depletion. Along with colleagues in Italy, Russia, and Germany, Rob was a founding member of the team that used a unique research aircraft — a Russian ex-spyplane called the Geophysica — which could carry scientific instruments to 20 km altitude (over 12 miles high). In the ten years from 1997, the Geophysica clocked-up over 500 flight hours, in twelve scientific campaigns across the world, from Arctic Finland to Tierra del Fuego via the Seychelles and Brazil. These were not usually relaxing tours of interesting holiday destinations, but were instead rather frantic attempts to guide a pilot who couldn’t speak much English into invisible clouds of microscopic acid droplets. The attempts at guidance were sometimes successful and led to — amongst many other things — the identification of a hitherto unobserved cloud, the Ultrathin Tropical Tropopause Cloud, which plays a significant role in determining the composition of air entering the ozone layer.

Subsequently Rob has continued trying to beat military hardware into scientific ploughshares, particularly in respect of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). He led a recent scoping study for the Natural Environment Research Council into the use of drones for Earth and environmental science and is part of the first UK team to make use of the Global Hawk, a very large drone which is the robot equivalent of the Geophysica.

The other key aspect of Rob's research is how atmospheric composition is affected by the underlying land surface, especially the way in which these interactions affect pollution in cities.

Using forests to manage carbon: a heated debate

Jul 25, 2017 14:40 pm UTC| Insights & Views Nature

The best way of managing trees and forests for climate change and accounting for contributions of forests and forestry activities in carbon budgets remains hotly contested. Forests can either take up carbon dioxide (CO₂)...

1 

Economy

U.S. Treasuries jump ahead of 10-year auction, host of FOMC speeches

The U.S. Treasuries jumped Tuesday after regional markets returned to trading, following a long weekend and are now looking forward to a host of speeches from the FOMC members Evans, Kaplan and Mesters speech, scheduled to...

UK gilts surge after December consumer price inflation drops, meets expectations

The UK gilts surged Tuesday after the countrys consumer price-led inflation index for the month of December dropped, albeit meeting market expectations for the same. The focus will now turn to the 5-year auction, scheduled...

German bunds gain after consumer price inflation meets expectations; eyes on 30-year auction

The German bunds gained Tuesday after the countrys consumer price inflation index (CPI) for the month of December met market expectations. Now, investors are eyeing the 30-year auction and Eurozone CPI, scheduled to be...

New Zealand’s economic growth likely to slow down over next few quarters, says Westpac Research

New Zealands economic growth is expected to slow down over the next few quarters before increased government spending starts to kick in and boosts GDP growth over 2019. Inflation is expected to hold near the 2 percent...

New Zealand bonds close narrowly mixed following disparate set of economic data; investors await GDT price auction

New Zealand government bonds closed narrowly mixed Tuesday, following a disparate set of economic data released overnight. Also, investors are awaiting the GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) price auction to be held today for further...

Politics

GOP tax plan doubles down on policies that are crushing the middle class

The U.S. middle class has always had a special mystique. It is the heart of the American dream. A decent income and home, doing better than ones parents, and retiring in comfort are all hallmarks of a middle-class...

What does Ramaphosa's victory mean for South Africa's economy?

A great deal is expected from Cyril Ramaphosa who was elected as the president of South Africas governing party, the African National Congress (ANC). This positions him to become the countrys president in 2019. Sibonelo...

Cyril Ramaphosa prepares to confront South Africa's bleak future

Among all the remarkable turns in African politics this year, one of the most momentous was Decembers ANC party congress in South Africa, where the party chose a new president: Cyril Ramaphosa, who narrowly bested...

Is the British monarchy actually adapting to changing social norms?

Is the royal marriage story were being sold really a fairy tale come true? Or is it a story spun by Buckingham Palace for its own self-interest, one shrouded in myth and make-believe? In the coverage of next summers...

Politics won out over international law in recent UN elections

For the first time in the courts history, the UK will not have a judge sitting at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Christopher Greenwood, who was seeking a second nine-year term, pulled out of the race on November...

Science

Automation Takes Over Stem Cell Manufacturing Too, FDA Approves

When discussing stem cell research, most people would likely bring up scientists harvesting stem cells from living tissue. While this is certainly true, there is now a new method that would allow researchers to manufacture...

Popular Pain Medication Ibuprofen Could Lead To Male Infertility, Study Says

Ibuprofen is one the most well-known pain medications in the West, taken by millions of people every day. Its a particular favorite of many athletes who suffer from muscle soreness and joint pains. According to a recent...

Scientists 3D-Print Living Tissue That Form Shapes, Pointless Or Gateway To Westworld?

Synthetic tissue has been a huge source of excitement in the scientific community for years, especially after 3D-printing technology really took off. Recently, scientists reveal that they were able to create shapes with...

Climate Change Impact Will Include More Asylum Seekers In Cooler Countries, Study Says

The impact that climate change can have is nearly universal. It pervades every aspect of human and animal life, making the planet uninhabitable by the day. One of the most alarming results of the increasingly hostile...

US Life Expectancy Drops For 2nd Consecutive Year Due To Opioid Epidemic

Life expectancy in the U.S. has been steadily increasing since the 1960s due to advancements in nutrition, welfare, and medicine. This is no longer the case, with the life expectancy of U.S. citizens dropping for two years...

Technology

Chernobyl To Start Generating Power Again; Yes, That Chernobyl

Whenever historians want to give an example of the consequences produced by the hubris of humans in its careless attempt at harnessing nuclear energy, Chernobyl is a site that often comes up. Its a cautionary tale that...

AI Beats Humans In Reading Comprehension, Another Win For The Machines

As if its really a surprise anymore, yet another artificial intelligence has proven that it is better than humans at something. This time, it has to do with a reading comprehension test, where the machine was pitted...

Fortnite Vehicles Would Be Pointless, Developers Say

Epic Games just blasted through another milestone with its free Battle Royale mode for its multiplayer, online title Fortnite. The game now has over 40 million players, making it one of the most popular titles in the...

No New Assets For Dark Souls Remaster, Just 4K Resolution And 60fps

When it was confirmed last week that a Dark Souls remaster for the first game in the series would be released in May, fans of the punishing series were overjoyed. Not only will they be able to play the first game in the...

Slowdown Does Not Affect iPads, iPhone Battery Explosions Potentially Explained

Apple is in really hot water right now and in more than just one place. On top of having to deal with its customers, the company is being investigated by French authorities and has gotten the attention of a major player in...
  • ET PRO
  • Market Data

Market-moving news and views, 24 hours a day >

2018-01-16 14:32:49
0m

January 16 13:30 UTC Released

USNY Fed Manufacturing

Actual

17.7 %

Forecast

18 %

Previous

18 %

January 16 13:00 UTC Released

PLNet Inflation YY

Actual

0.9 0

Forecast

0.8 0

Previous

0.9 0

January 16 17:00 UTC 107107m

USSoy Crush

Actual

Forecast

Previous

163.546 Bushels M

January 16 23:50 UTC 517517m

JPMachinery Orders MM

Actual

Forecast

Previous

5 %

January 16 23:50 UTC 517517m

JPMachinery Orders YY

Actual

Forecast

Previous

2.3 %

January 17 00:30 UTC 557557m

AUHousing Finance

Actual

Forecast

Previous

-0.6 %

January 17 00:30 UTC 557557m

AUInvest Housing Finance

Actual

Forecast

Previous

1.6 %

January 17 00:30 UTC 557557m

SGOil Exports MM

Actual

Forecast

Previous

8.7 0

January 17 00:30 UTC 557557m

SGOil Exports YY

Actual

Forecast

Previous

9.1 0

January 17 07:00 UTC 947947m

DEWholesale Price Index MM

Actual

Forecast

Previous

0.5 %

Close

Welcome to EconoTimes

Sign up for daily updates for the most important
stories unfolding in the global economy.