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



Friday, September 22, 2023

AirUCI faculty Andrea Vizcaya Ruiz is quoted in a Very Well Health article about plastic food containers.  Although many are durable and can last a long time, they should be replaced regularly.  “When they show any wear, damage, or deterioration,” it’s time for them to go, Andrea said.  Single-use plastic containers, like the ones you usually get from take-out restaurants, are not intended for long-term use.  Read the article

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

AirUCI faculty Jane Baldwin is quoted in a Grist article about keeping cool as global temperatures rise.  Perspiration cools the body with differences in efficiency depending on humidity in the air.  Generally it's been observed that higher levels of  humidity, temperature, and sunlight cause greater stress to the human body.  Still, there’s debate over how much humidity matters in health outcomes — it isn’t showing up as a key driver of deaths in real-world epidemiological data as expected.  Jane recently co-authored a study exploring this discrepancy. One explanation could be that epidemiological data tends to come from cooler parts of the world, like Europe and the United States, whereas data is limited from tropical countries like India, Ghana, and Brazil, where the link between humidity and death would likely be strongest. Nailing down an answer to this question would help scientists make more accurate predictions about how climate change will affect health, Jane said.   Read the article

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

AirUCI faculty Sarah Finkeldei, as part of a collaboration with Serva Energy, Arizona State University, and the Mayo Clinic, is working to provide new synthetic pathways to medical isotopes for application in Targeted Alpha Therapies for cancer treatment.  Using UCI’s nuclear reactor, they have transformed Radium-226 (which is a nuclear waste product) to Actinium-225, a life-saving isotope used for targeted alpha therapy for certain types of cancer.  “It’s been truly rewarding to utilize UCI’s TRIGA research reactor and our nuclear chemistry laboratories to contribute to such an important application of nuclear materials,” said Sarah.  Read the article

Thursday, September 7, 2023

AirUCI graduate student Anqi Jiao (Wu group) is lead author on a new study published September 7th in JAMA Network Open showing that long- and short-term heat exposure during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for severe maternal morbidity.  Mothers with lower educational attainment and those whose pregnancies started in the cold season (November through April) had greater associations for high exposure to extreme heat days during pregnancy.  Read the article

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer has penned an opinion piece the the August 30th edition of The Hill.  He makes the case for the urgent need to employ current technology, including hydrogen, to eliminate fossil fuel combustion greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions.  Jack writes, “Congress came together to pass the bipartisan Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes substantial investments in clean energy technologies. Notably, clean hydrogen received a production tax credit to empower its competition against polluting fossil fuels. Congress recognized the urgency of nurturing the clean renewable hydrogen industry, and action is required now.  Establishing infrastructure and supply chains takes time. Starting the green hydrogen industry now is essential to achieve zero emissions by mid-century, saving lives and enhancing the quality of life."  Read the article

Thursday, August 24, 2023

AirUCI Founder and Co-Director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts has been recognized with the 2023 Lauds & Laurels Award for Outstanding Faculty Achievement.  Now in its 52nd year, Lauds & Laurels is UCI’s oldest tradition recognizing outstanding individuals for their service to the community, professional excellence, and campus involvement. The awards ceremony will take place Thursday, October. 26th.  Well deserved, Barbara!

Sunday, August 20, 2023

AirUCI faculty Jane Baldwin is quoted in an August 20th Los Angeles Times article discussing the compound climate issues that allowed Hurricane Hilary to affect Southern California, the first hurricane here since 1939.  Generally California has been protected from hurricanes by a combination of ocean currents and wind patterns, however unusual conditions have combined to open a path for Hilary to move much farther north than most Eastern Pacific hurricanes ever approach.  “Broadly speaking, as the climate warms, sea surface and ocean temperatures generally tend to get warmer, and that adds more fuel to intensify tropical cyclones,” said Jane. “So having Hurricane Hilary develop is consistent with the fact that we expect more intense tropical cyclones to be more likely with climate change. It’s certainly unusual for any tropical storm to take the path that Hilary has — much less one that’s this intense,”  Read the article

Thursday, August 17, 2023

In a Spectrum News spot that was broadcast on August 17, 2023, a study by AirUCI faculty Claudia Czimczik is cited.  Claudia's team conducted research at Toolik Lake in Alaska where they found that a common ecosystem called the “tussock tundra” had turned into a year-round source of ancient carbon dioxide because permafrost is thawing buried underneath the snow.  The study, on which AirUCI grad student Shaun Pedron is lead author, was published in the August 12, 2023 edition of AGU AdvancesView the broadcast

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

On August 8th, two AirUCI undergrads will present posters at the annual SoCal Undergraduate Chemistry Research Symposium: Patricia Morris (Finlayson-Pitts group) and  Dhyvia Manickam (Smith group).  The poster sessions are hosted at the ISEB atrium and the event will end with an award ceremony at 2:15PM.  

Friday, August 4, 2023

AirUCI faculty Kim Fortun was quoted in an August 4th Orange County Register article that asks why women seem more concerned about climate change than men.  Kim has found that women typically act as caretakers in families and communities more than men do, and this caretaker connection has been evident as she's organized community meetings where women outnumber men in attendance.  [Subscription required, campus-wide access provided by UCI Libraries. Sign-up here: