Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine


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



Wed, 11/11/2020
AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in a New York Times article on the increasing use of hydrogen as a fuel, especially for transportation.  Jack is director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center, AirUCI partner organization at UCI, which has experimented with hydrogen for years and formed partnerships with local governments and major corporations to popularize its use in Southern California.   Jack does not think hydrogen will become the dominant energy source soon, but he argues that it has great potential as a fuel for vehicles, power plants, and appliances. ...
Mon, 11/02/2020
AirUCI faculty (and Chemistry Professor Emeritus) Benny Gerber has been awarded the Gold Medal of the Israel Chemical Society (ICS) "for his fundamental contributions to the structure and dynamics of polyatomic molecular systems and deciphering mechanisms of atmospheric reactions".  This prize is the ICS's highest honor, drawing on Benny's decades of groundbreaking work in Israel, in Irvine, in Finland, and elsewhere.  Congratulations, Benny!  Additional details
Tue, 10/20/2020
AirUCI faculty Jim Smith has been nominated for the Innovator of the Year award presented by the UCI Beall Applied Innovation Center.  The center, with generous support from Don and Ken Beall, created awards to recognize UCI researchers who are actively working to promote commercialization of university intellectual property, which supports industry growth and moves inventions from the lab to market to benefit humankind.  The awards will be announced at a virtual event on October 27, 2020.  
Thu, 10/15/2020
AirUCI faculty Steve Davis is quoted in an article in Scientific American on the drop in CO2 emissions due to the COVID virus.  Global emissions fell 1,550 million metric tons in the first half of 2020, according to a study published yesterday in the journal Nature Communications, the most since the end of WWII, underlining the depths of the economic damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic this year.   “Considering how disruptive the pandemic has been in all our lives, it seems like a small number,” said Steve, who contributed to the study. “The task of...
Mon, 10/12/2020
AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer's decade long research into storing energy using hydrogen is attracting new attention.  HIs 2016-2020 campus demonstration project, in conjunction with the Southern California Gas Company, was a success. it made renewable hydrogen from solar power using an electrolyzer, then took that renewable hydrogen, injected it into our natural gas grid, then delivered it through our natural gas grid to a natural gas combined cycle plant to make partially decarbonized electricity from it.   The energy industry’s interest in using power-to-gas as a storage...
Fri, 10/09/2020
AirUCI faculty Steve Davis is co-author of a study which shows that replacing coal powered energy generating plants with natural gas powered plants may not have the intended effect of reducing global warming gases.  While burning natural gas reduces by half the CO2 released into the atmosphere, the emissions and methane leaks from new gas plants zero out the CO2 cuts achieved from closing coal plants.   The new study marks one of the first major attempts to measure the cumulative lifetime emissions from the U.S. power sector since the fracking boom shifted the majority of...
Thu, 10/08/2020
AirUCI faculty Michael Prather was among a group of international researchers who recently completed the most thorough review yet of nitrous oxide from emission to destruction in the planet’s atmosphere.  Their work, published in Nature, documents the details of human-sourced N2O emissions and how they have intensified by 30 percent over the past four decades, the dominant share coming from synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and animal manure used in agriculture.   “Nitrous oxide emissions are increasing faster than any scenarios considered by the Intergovernmental Panel on...
Mon, 10/05/2020
AirUCI faculty Annmarie Carlton is a plenary speaker at AAAR’s annual 2020 meeting in Raleigh, NC.  In addition, several AirUCI students and postdocs will be giving talks and poster presentations at the meeting.  Due to the pandemic, this will now be a virtual meeting to be held October 5-9.  Annmarie's talk title is "The Clear Sky Bias in Atmospheric Chemistry".  Details
Mon, 10/05/2020
AirUCI faculty Mike Kleinman is extensively quoted in an Orange County Register article about the efficacy of air filters in areas affected by wildfire smoke.  He explains that forest fires adversely affect air quality for two reasons: The first is due to the generally short-term exposure to microscopic particles that result from the fire, which irritate soft tissue like eyes, throats, and lungs.  The second is the gas phase from the fire which contains carbon monoxide and chemicals that are known to be carcinogens.    Mike says air filters can help if buyers select HEPA...
Thu, 10/01/2020
AirUCI faculty Mike Kleinman is part of a research team studying the effects of e-cigarettes and other vaping on health. They are warning that e-cigarettes with heating elements can cause ‘significant’ damage to the lungs. “Within an hour of beginning an experiment, we observed evidence of severe respiratory distress, including labored breathing, wheezing, and panting," said Mike. "After analyzing lung tissue from subjects in the study, we found them to be severely compromised and observed other serious changes such as lung lesions, red blood cell congestion,...