Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine


Here's the latest news from AirUCI — our events, our people, our science.



Sat, 02/01/2020
On Saturday, February 1, 2020, AirUCI faculty Mike Dennin participated in the annual Physics Day sponsored by the UCI School of Physical Sciences.  This event is geared toward K-12 students and features demonstrations of physics concepts involving Sir Isaac Newton’s laws, momentum and conservation of momentum, rocketry, chemistry as well as mass and velocity.  Mike talked about the powers of superheroes and told the students, “The cool thing about superheroes when it comes to physics is some of what they do is consistent with the law of physics and some of what they do...
Sat, 02/01/2020
AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in the February 1, 2020 issue of Scientific American in an article about reducing carbon based energy sources. Renewable hydrogen is replacing natural gas in European towns and has great potential to be a major source of power for segments of the worldwide economy that cannot simply plug into a big electrical outlet, such as heavy transport. “Far too many people have been misled into believing that electrification is the entire [carbon] solution,” says Jack, who has been engineering solutions to our region’s dirty air for more than two...
Fri, 01/31/2020
AirUCI graduate student Allison Vander Wall (Finlayson-Pitts group) recently submitted a major paper to the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts and it was not only accepted for publication, but is featured on the cover of the first 2020 issue!  Today she received the following message from the journal's editors:   "Your article “Evidence for a Kinetically Controlled Burying Mechanism for Growth of High Viscosity Secondary Organic Aerosol” has been selected by the handling Editor as one of the top 10% of papers published in Environmental...
Thu, 01/30/2020
AirUCI Grad Student Annie Rohrbacher (Finlayson-Pitts group) received an Outstanding Student Presentation award from the American Geophysical Union for her talk that was given at the annual AGU conference in San Francisco December 9-13, 2019.  Annie's talk, entitled "Atmospheric Fate of Neonicotinoid Pesticides as Pure Compounds and in Formulations," was presented on December 12th and was her first presentation at a national meeting.  These awards are given to the top 5% of student participants. Congratulations, Annie!
Fri, 01/24/2020
Fragments of fungal cells just 30 nanometers across have been found in the atmosphere at concentrations much higher than expected, according to experiments by AirUCI researchers in the James Smith research group. AirUCI researcher Michael Lawler is extensively quoted in a January 24th article in Physics World on the issues surrounding these biological nanoparticles and how they may play a role in cloud formation and could also trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.  Read the article
Thu, 01/23/2020
AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in a January 23rd Harvard Business Review article about cyberattacks and other threats to utilities. Preparation is key to preventing widespread and long term effects from outages of power, water, and emergency care systems.  To illustrate the risks we face by not planning, Jack cites the intentional California blackouts associated with wildfires in 2019; 248 hospitals were in regions that lost power. “I can’t overemphasize the calamity that these events cause at the neighborhood level. Hundreds of healthcare facilities don’t have...
Thu, 01/23/2020
AirUCI researchers Lisa Wingen, Veronique Perraud, and Allison Vander Wall (Finlayson-Pitts group) submitted an article for publication to the journal Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts and Allison's cover art was accepted for the first issue of 2020 — congratulations! 
Thu, 01/09/2020
In a January 9th Associated Press article on the effects of wildfire smoke, AirUCI faculty Mike Kleinman is quoted on his concerns about long-term health consequences of repeated exposure.  Studies of wildland firefighters also give insights into the risks of smoke inhalation from plants as well as toxins released in the burning of construction and household materials.  They’ve shown significantly higher rates of lung cancer and death from heart disease, according to Mike's research.  “It’s safe to say there will probably more effects at the long-term...


Sun, 12/22/2019
An article in the December 22nd edition of the New Yorker magazine quotes AirUCI faculty Steve Davis about the possibilities of "new" nuclear energy.  Steve is a proponent of renewable energy, and the article was referencing his current research into renewable capacities.  His work shows that if Japan could maximize wind and solar generation, construct energy storage facilities, and rebuild its electrical grid, they could provide at least 98% of their energy needs without nuclear or carbon-based power.  "It's doable," Steve says, but the price tag is the...
Tue, 12/17/2019
A December 17, 2019 article in the Los Angeles Times cites F. Sherwood Rowland as an inspiration to the scientists of today as they step out of the lab to advocate for scientific data and decisions which should be based in evidence and fact.  Many researchers are uncomfortable discussing the ramifications of their studies, but Sherry (an honorary AirUCI member from our founding to his death) demonstrated the necessity to speak out in response to moral imperative, and that it doesn't need to undermine the ability to carry out impartial and unbiased research.  Read the article