Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine


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



Fri, 02/19/2021
On February 19th, AirUCI faculty Steve Davis presented a Solutions That Scale seminar entitled "The Urban Challenge" that has been widely viewed on YouTube. Steve interviewed Martin Powell, who leads the Urban Development Practice for Siemens Corporation, about the challenges our big cities face over the next decade during the transition in how we generate and consume energy.
Thu, 02/04/2021
A local Irvine neighborhood has been complaining for years about emissions from a nearby asphalt plant, and now they have data to back their claims.  A UCI-based team working with residents was led by Dean Baker, former director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, and included AirUCI researchers.  The UCI team used monitoring equipment to capture data about the types of emissions in the area and measured unsafe levels of certain chemical compounds, and they are emphasizing a need for long term monitoring to review the issue.   Regulatory agencies...
Wed, 02/03/2021
AirUCI faculty Jim Smith is quoted in a Mashable article on the effectiveness of double masks for the prevention of disease transmission in the era of COVID. Double-masking is largely about fit, he notes, and wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask (or a kn95 mask) helps to conform the underlying, filtering mask to your face, closing any gaps.  A surgical mask alone, for example, often has big gaps at the edges, allowing for particles to easily enter and leave. "It leaks like a sieve, it leaks like crazy," said Jim.  "Surgical masks need a way to seal better around...
Wed, 02/03/2021
AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in an article on the potential of green hydrogen to generate power while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The article in Bloomberg Law discusses this as an important option in the transition from carbon-based power sources while dozens of major companies are signing on to back hydrogen as a source of clean energy.  Jack has been advocating that the Biden administration consider repurposing existing—and in some cases abandoned—natural gas pipelines to transport hydrogen.    Making that transition would not be technically...
Mon, 02/01/2021
AirUCI faculty Steve Davis is quoted in an article on Grist on the challenge of de-carbonizing certain industries.  For shipping, flying, long-haul trucking, and manufacturing materials like steel and cement, among others, it's often not technologically or economically feasible for these companies to use cleaner sources of energy.  Add to this the fact that they also emit large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, they are proving difficult to de-carbonize.  However, Steve is proposing methods for capturing and sequestering the carbon they generate, as well as...
Fri, 01/29/2021
An article in Yahoo Finance quotes AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer on the topic of repurposing natural gas pipelines for transporting hydrogen.  With the Biden Administration's new emphasis on sustainable energy, these pipelines will be used less and less but could be converted to moving hydrogen for use in transportation fuels.  However, mixing natural gas molecules with hydrogen molecules creates problems that Jack says can be overcome by replacing compressors and steel pipes, which may become brittle and crack over time when exposed to hydrogen.   “We must investigate...
Wed, 01/27/2021
A January 27th article in UCI News details a recent study by AirUCI faculty Steve Davis and his team, notably postdoctoral scholar Chaopeng Hong, who have conducted the most thorough inventory yet of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and other land use practices.  In their paper published in Nature, they document problems in cultivation and other agricultural practices, but also found many opportunities for mitigation around the world.  Read the article


Tue, 12/08/2020
Environment and Engineering News published an article on December 8th quoting a new paper from AirUCI faculty Steve Davis on the true costs of wildfires.  Official death tolls count only those killed directly by wildfires, but exponentially more deaths are attributed to the smoke and air pollution they generate.  The paper also counts tens of billions of dollars in economic disruption and health costs that are not included in official estimates of $24.7 billion in damage, which tallies only property that was destroyed or damaged.   The study represents an expansive way of...
Thu, 12/03/2020
AirUCI faculty Steve Davis is among the most highly cited researchers in the world.  Last week, Clarivate, an analytics company, announced its annual list of highly cited researchers. To make the list a researcher’s publications need to be in the top one percent of citations in a field in a given year.  Twenty UCI researchers are on the list, and 10 are from the School of Physical Sciences, including Steve — many congratulations!
Wed, 11/18/2020
AirUCI grad student Annie Rohrbacher (Finlayson-Pitts research group) has been awarded an academic scholarship from the Southern California Timing Association, an association in which she participates in motorcycle land speed racing.  The SCTA-BNI Scholarship Program assists dedicated students that are an asset to the sport of Land Speed Racing. The SCTA is the sanctioning body of the world’s fastest speed trials. Annie participates with Anderson Miller Racing, which has achieved three land speed records at the Ohio Mile and the Bonneville Salt Flats. Well done, Annie!