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



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Several AirUCI faculty and researchers attended and presented at the Molecular Level Understanding of Atmospheric Aerosols conference (MOUAA) held at the Lake Arrowhead Lodge May 15-20, 2022.  Barbara Finlayson-Pitts and Manabu Shiraiwa were both invited speakers, Sergey Nizkorodov and Jim Smith both served as session chairs, Lisa Wingen and Veronique Perraud each presented posters at this prestigious event that attracts the most noted experts from around the world.  Conference details

Friday, May 6, 2022

AirUCI faculty Steve Davis has published a study showing that land-use change – including clearing of carbon-absorbing forests to create farms and pastures – contributed about 3/4 of the amount of greenhouse gases driven by the global trade of agricultural goods between 2004 and 2017.  “Roughly a quarter of all human greenhouse gas emissions are from land use,” said Steve. “Our work shows that large shares of these emissions in lower-income countries are related to consumption in more developed countries.”  Read the article

Monday, May 2, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in a May 2nd Bloomberg article on hydrogen as a replacement for natural gas as a cleaner energy source.  Utility companies are moving rapidly to explore hydrogen as a "decarbonizer" or even a replacement for natural gas, especially to large customers, but there are issues.  For example, it can degrade metal pipelines and there are limits to the amount of fuel that can be carried in plastic pipelines, more commonly used in local gas distribution systems.  Read the article

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer was interviewed for the PBS NewsHour on April 20th.  The discussion was about hydrogen as an alternative energy source, and PBS correspondent Miles O'Brien visited Jack at UCI to report on hydrogen cars and the issues and history of hydrogen as fuel.  View the broadcast and read the transcript

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jun Wu is quoted in an article on pregnancy and air pollution published April 20th in The 19th.  While the main topic is wildfire smoke and its health effects, Jun describes risks to pregnancy due to multiple sources of air pollution.  “What we found is that for women living in areas with higher air pollution, the risk of developing gestational diabetes is higher,” she said. "Their babies are also at higher risk of being born preterm."  Read the article

Monday, April 18, 2022

AirUCI Co-Director Sergey Nizkorodov has been recognized as the Dr. De Gallow Professor of the Year, one of the 2022 Campus-wide Teaching Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching presented by the Office of the Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning.  Recipients are selected by members of the Academic Senate Council on Teaching, Learning, and Student Experience and by members of the groups providing the monetary awards.  Selections are based on campus-wide nominations from peers, colleagues, and students.  Congratulations, Sergey!

To congratulate Sergey and the other winners, the 29th Celebration of Teaching reception will be held on Thursday, April 21, from 4:30-6:00 pm in Doheny A/B. Please RSVP for the event.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A study by AirUCI faculty Jim Randerson and AirUCI postdoc Yue Li is adding to the capacity for measuring the impacts of deforestation on surrounding areas.  A key aspect of modeling that has until now remained unmeasured is the degree to which deforestation in tropical rainforests like the Amazon and the Congo contributes to additional forest losses because of its effect on regional climate.  “We used Earth system models to quantify what the climate impact from tropical deforestation is today,” said Yue, “then we used this information with satellite observations of forest biomass to figure out how nearby forests are responding to these changes.”  Jim added: “This paper shows that avoiding deforestation yields carbon benefits in nearby regions as a consequence of climate feedbacks."  Read the article

Sunday, April 10, 2022

AirUCI faculty Steve Davis has written, along with three other environmental experts, an opinion piece for this week's Sunday edition of the New York Times.  The article stresses the importance of acting on steps we can take right now using today's technologies to begin reversing the rate of carbon, methane, and other emissions that cause climate change.   We don't need to waste precious time debating details, such as just how much carbon reduction is needed to offset particular events.  We know conclusively that we need to reduce these greenhouse gases, no matter what the final measurements may be.  "The next steps are clearer and more affordable than they have ever been.  Rather than getting distracted by distant and likely irreducible uncertainties, let’s focus on what matters: deploying clean technologies we know we need, implementing a coherent climate policy, laying the groundwork for future progress, and creating a just transition that shares the benefits of a sustainable energy system.” 
Read the article

Thursday, April 7, 2022

As part of a larger ALPACA research project, AirUCI faculty Manabu Shiraiwa sent three of his team members to Alaska in the middle of winter.  From January to March 2022, Dr. Ting Fang (postdoc), Sukriti Kapur, and Kasey Edwards (grad students) conducted field studies to collect and analyze air samples in the Fairbanks region, which has some of the worst air quality in the United States.  Similar field campaigns have focused on air pollution in cold places like Denver, Utah, and regions in the eastern U.S. but Fairbanks has colder and darker conditions than these places, and “there remain important knowledge gaps in our understanding of the wintertime pollution and chemistry taking place at this location,” said Sukriti.  Read the article

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jim Smith and his grad student Jeremy Wakeen are profiled in an article describing their research into the chemical composition of sea salt particles and their effect on climate change.  Their project, based on the beach at Crystal Cove, has been sampling and analyzing marine air to help determine the size of the particles and how much of them are salt and how much are organics.  Read the article