prof. dr. ir. Sander Houweling

prof. dr. ir.

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My research interest is to investigate greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the processes determining their abundance. The methods that I develop aim at improving our understanding and quantification of those processes, on global and regional scales, using atmospheric measurements and models. To improve the availability of measurements, I work together with colleagues at SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research on the development of remote sensing techniques for measuring greenhouse gases and other related gases from Earth orbiting satellites. Currently, these actvities focus primarily on the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). These gases are the first and second most important greenhouse gases emitted by human activities. Together they are responsible for 88% of the radiative forcing of the Earth's climate due to human produced long-lived greenhouse gases.

Of the short-lived gases influencing climate and air quality, my main interest is in carbon monoxide (CO), which is not a greenhouse gas inself but influences the abundance of greenhouse gases through its influence on the hydroxyl radical. The highly reactive hydroxyl radical is very important, despite its low abundance, because it determines the atmospheric life time of many gases, including the greenhouse gas methane. Carbon monoxide is also useful as indicator of atmospheric emissions due to burning processes, such as the use of fossil fuel and biomass burning. It can be used, for example, to distinguish between industrial and agricultural emissions of carbon dioxide and methane.  

For more information see my inaugural speech of Sept. 7, 2018: "Het klimaatkompas en de koers van de mondiale opwarming" available from the reference list below.



  • Q Science (General)
  • Climate change
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • atmospheric modelling
  • remote sensing
  • inverse modelling
  • carbon dioxide
  • methane
  • carbon monoxide

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  • 1 Similar Profiles
methane Earth & Environmental Sciences
greenhouse gas Earth & Environmental Sciences
carbon monoxide Earth & Environmental Sciences
atmospheric transport Earth & Environmental Sciences
Biospherics Engineering & Materials Science
Greenhouse gases Engineering & Materials Science
Methane Engineering & Materials Science
biomass burning Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1994 2019

Carbon monoxide air pollution on sub-city scales and along arterial roads detected by the Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument

Borsdorff, T., De Brugh, J. A., Pandey, S., Hasekamp, O., Aben, I., Houweling, S. & Landgraf, J., 20 Mar 2019, In : Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 19, 6

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Influence of Atmospheric Transport on Estimates of Variability in the Global Methane Burden

Pandey, S., Houweling, S., Krol, M., Aben, I., Nechita-Banda, N., Thoning, K., Röckmann, T., Yin, Y., Segers, A. & Dlugokencky, E. J., 28 Feb 2019, In : Geophysical Research Letters. 46, 4, p. 2302-2311 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

atmospheric transport

What caused the extreme CO concentrations during the 2017 high-pollution episode in India?

Dekker, I. N., Houweling, S., Pandey, S., Krol, M., Röckmann, T., Borsdorff, T., Landgraf, J. & Aben, I., 19 Mar 2019, In : Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 19, 6, p. 3433-3445 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
carbon monoxide

Het broeikaskompas: De koers van de mondiale opwarming

Houweling, S., 7 Sep 2018, Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit. 10 p.

Research output: Book / ReportInaugural speechProfessional

Open Access

The biomass burning contribution to climate-carbon-cycle feedback

Harrison, S. P., Bartlein, P. J., Brovkin, V., Houweling, S., Kloster, S. & Colin Prentice, I., 28 May 2018, In : Earth System Dynamics. 9, 2, p. 663-677 15 p.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
biomass burning
carbon cycle