More about our research More about our research

COAS research is widely recognised for its quality and novelty for example by the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF – ENV 1st for research impact and top 3 for volume of world leading research in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Panel) and Thomson Reuters in  its Essential Science Indicators (6th for oceanography worldwide). Our work makes a major contribution to international scientific assessments such as the WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and to national and European government policy making. COAS scientists also play a major role in coordinated international scientific projects such as Future Earth, SOLAS, IMBER, WMO Polar Prediction Project.
Sampling balloon
COAS research involves field studies which cover the whole world from polar to tropical areas and from the bottom of the ocean to the stratosphere. Our field work involves land stations, ship based sampling and aircraft missions flying campaign, sampling.  COAS scientists also make extensive use of computer models, and satellite data, to integrate and synthesise their work, to test hypotheses and to make predictions. Many of the observing platforms we use, particularly aircraft and ships, are operated by government agencies, but we also run internationally important facilities: 


COAS operates its own fleet of ocean gliders, autonomous vehicles that can be piloted from our offices and operate worldwide gathering data in places that are difficult to access, while providing a breadth of sampling coverage not available from conventional sampling platforms. 


COAS has a unique ice-chamber specifically designed to investigate the physics and chemistry of air/sea/ice interactions. The system was designed and developed by the late Prof Roland von Glasow and is named in his honour.Sea Ice Chamber





Ice chamber images by James Frances


Weybourne atmospheric observatoryCOAS runs an atmospheric observatory at Weybourne on the North Norfolk coast which is used for campaigns to study atmospheric chemistry and is also one of the main UK Greenhouse Gas Measuring facilities



COAS staff also lead WeatherQuest Ltd, a weather services company embedded within the School.
The School also has a state of the art chemical analytical facilities, a supercomputing cluster, a trace metal clean room and high specification mass spectrometry facilities for trace gas analysis and isotopic analysis. 
All COAS faculty are involved with undergraduate and masters teaching which is closely linked to and informed by our research. Full details of our undergraduate teaching programme are available at We also supervise a range of PhD projects every year with fully-funded studentships available from EnvEast and Nexus and we welcome applications from students around the world to study with us.