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



Monday, March 27, 2023

On Monday, March 27th, AirUCI faculty Jim Smith and his research group will host a visit by Coty Jen of Carnegie Mellon University.  Prof. Jen will be meeting with Jim's team and other AirUCI faculty to tour our labs and discuss collaborative research projects.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The annual World Air Quality Report issued by IQAir was released this week and AirUCI grad student Cynthia Wong (Nizkorodov group) contributed to the report.  Cynthia held an internship with IQAir in the summer and fall of 2022 and worked on data analysis that focused on levels of PM2.5 in different regions of the world. The air quality data utilized in the 2022 World Air Quality Report was sourced from IQAir’s realtime online air quality monitoring platform which validates, calibrates, and harmonizes air quality data from monitoring stations located around the world. View the CNN broadcast



Monday, March 6, 2023

AirUCI faculty Jun Wu was interviewed about her recent study published in The Lancet Regional Health – Americas showing that exposure to green space and tree coverage was associated with a decreased risk of postpartum depression among mothers. “This is the first study of its kind that examined the relationship between diverse green spaces, postpartum depression, and the role of physical activity,” said Jun, and it suggests that city planners and public health professionals should develop policies and interventions that increase the amount of tree coverage to create a beneficial environment for community members.  Read the article

Thursday, March 2, 2023

In an Associated Press article published March 2nd, AirUCI faculty Steve Davis is quoted about his recent study published in Science on the increasingly dry conditions of boreal forests and the corresponding risk of wildfires in far northern regions.  “This warming that’s massing in the Arctic and boreal regions is going to continue,” said Steve.  Much attention has been paid to wildfires in the western United States, tropical rainforests such as the Amazon and even the Australian bush, but boreal forests have received less attention.  "That’s disturbing," Steve said, because there is a lot of carbon stored in these northern ecosystems, which are among the most rapidly warming on the planet.  Read the article  Read the UCI article with additional details.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

AirUCI faculty Michael Kleinman was selected by the Associated Press as an expert who could comment on a controversy surrounding an updated CDC draft and whether it includes information about the effects of vinyl chloride on children.  A draft of the chemical's toxicological profile was released in early February 2023 replacing the 2006 information, but social media baselessly asserted that they removed the section on children which they viewed as suspicious timing.with the toxic train derailment in Paradise, Ohio on February 3rd.  However, experts assess that while the new report has been significantly reformatted — with some chapters and subsections changed — both documents contain the same information about children, drinking water, and cancer, even if not in the same places. “The new version sort of is a much more tightly summarized exposition, but I didn’t see them leaving out any specific studies,” said Mike.  Read the article

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

AirUCI faculty Andrea de Vizcaya Ruiz is quoted in a Valentines Day article in Forbes on the benefits of sitting by a fire and how fire features increase home valuation.  “Sitting by a fireplace generates a soothing and relaxing feeling, tranquility, and enjoyment,” she said and pointed to studies showing that blood pressure decreases and relaxation increases from sitting near fireplaces. However, emissions can trigger adverse health effects depending on the fuel source, more so in enclosed spaces.  Keeping 2-3 feet between most users and wood-burning fire features outside is recommended, while adequate ventilation and distance are key with indoor fireplaces, she notes.  Read the article

Monday, February 6, 2023

In a February 6th article in Wired, AirUCI faculty Jim Randerson is quoted on the effects of El Nino on the Amazon rain forest.  In general, there is less precipitation in the Amazon basin in El Nino years due to its influence on atmospheric circulation.  "The rain falls more on the ocean,” says Jim. “It just doesn’t rain as much on global land. The continents lose water, especially South America.” Although every El Nino is different, typically more drought in the Amazon is expected.  Read the article

Monday, February 6, 2023

A study in Nature Sustainability by AirUCI faculty Steve Davis and his team (in collaboration with the Colorado School of Mines and the International Renewable Energy Agency in Germany) discusses the challenges of moving the airline industry toward more sustainability.  AirUCI grad student Candelaria Bergero is the main author on the study and notes that, "Flying will be particularly hard to decarbonize because of its appeal and popularity as a mode of transportation and its reliance on energy-dense liquid fuels.”  However, steps toward this goal are available and Steve says, "We are optimistic that through targeted innovation, good public policy and corporate climate action, our society can make progress toward achieving net-zero commercial aviation.”  Read the article

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Amid the escalating transition to green energy, recent research has shown that the amount of minerals required for the shift to renewables is significant, but falls well within the amount of reserves available.  AirUCI faculty Steve Davis is co-author on a recent study which found that current reserves of minerals like aluminum, copper, manganese, silver and more should support building enough wind and solar power to meet climate targets.  What’s more, the mining from those operations would not have an outsized impact on global warming, but much still must be done to ensure that mining is safe for ecosystems.  Read the article

Monday, January 30, 2023

AirUCI faculty Jim Randerson is quoted in an article published in the High Country News describing the loss of forested land in California — over 7% of our forests since 1985.  It's worse in Southern California, where the forests in our southwestern mountains lost 14% of tree cover.  Rising temperatures and aridification mean that forests once considered fairly fire-resistant, such as old-growth coastal redwoods, can no longer rely on wet weather conditions for fire protection. Read the article