Wouter Peters appointed Professor of Carbon cycle and atmospheric composition


Wouter Peters appointed Professor of Carbon cycle and atmospheric composition

Gepubliceerd op
26 oktober 2015

Wouter Peters has been appointed Professor holding a personal Chair in Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric Composition at the Meteorology and Air Quality Group with effect from 1 October. In this capacity, Wouter will study the carbon cycle in tropical rain forests, research for which he was awarded an ERC Grant of € 2.3 million earlier this year.

In addition to his new research project in the Amazon, Wouter also recently took charge of research at the Swedish-Dutch ‘Carbon Portal’, a European central facility of the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) to which Wageningen University makes an important contribution. The Carbon Portal is set to become the ‘one-stop shop’ for facts and figures on the European carbon cycle for scientists, policy-makers and the public.

The research at ICOS focuses on the carbon cycle in the Netherlands and Europe. “Urban areas are particularly important,” says Wouter Peters, “because of the density of the population and the concentration of energy-intensive activities. Policy-makers and industry need information about the carbon cycle in order to take effective measures to reduce CO2 emissions. But they must also be able to verify data on emissions and possible reductions at the level of the city, region or industrial sector, such as in ports, transport or power generation. It is essential that this is done independently, regardless of the reports and statistics compiled by the companies themselves. I hardly need to mention Volkswagen…”

One of the main products from Wouter’s Group is CarbonTracker, a system that tracks CO2 exchange on the Earth’s surface by means of atmospheric measurements. CarbonTracker integrates information generated at Wageningen about natural carbon cycles, and makes continuous use of atmospheric models, hydrological knowledge and plant and crop growth models.

Wouter Peters did his Master’s in Utrecht, where he was later awarded a PhD for research into ozone in the tropical troposphere. Between 2003 and 2007, he worked as a researcher for NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder in the United States. He was appointed to the Meteorology and Air Quality Group in 2007, securing a Vidi grant just one year later. In 2013, he became a part-time Professor of Atmospheric Composition Modelling in Groningen.