Atmospheric Chemistry

PAOC researchers have contributed significantly to our understanding of the impact of CFCs and HFCs on the ozone layer and on the Earth radiative balance. Ongoing research includes globally tracking and modeling important chemical species other than CO2. These species have positive and negative radiative contributions and together with particulate matter they modulate the response of the atmosphere to radiative forcing. Research activities include field-work, laboratory analysis and modeling studies.

PAOC is a leading participant in the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), a program that has been continuosly monitoring  the rates of change of the concentrations of the trace gases involved in the greenhouse effect and ozone depletion  over the globe for the past three decades. Our atmospheric chemists have pioneered the use of inverse methods, which use such measurements and three-dimensional models to determine trace gas emissions and understand atmospheric chemical processes, especially those processes involving the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere.

In other areas, work on atmospheric aerosols and other gaseous pollutants in the atmosphere form a core for research into  aerosol-chemistry-climate interactions. Tying science to policy, work focussing on atmospheric dispersion of heavy metals uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making strategies on air pollution, climate change, and human health.

Groups

Professor Ron Prinn's group works on incorporating the chemistry, dynamics, and physics of the atmospheres of the Earth and other planets, and the chemical evolution of atmospheres. We are also the pioneers of estimating global emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases using the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment network, linking climate science and policy.

Our group research focuses on using atmospheric chemistry and integrated modeling to inform decision-making strategies on air pollution and climate change. We are currently doing work in three main areas: Impacts of Air Pollution and Climate Change, Global Transport and Fate of Air Toxics (Mercury and POPs), and Science and Policy of Hazardous Substances.

Chien Wang's group works on various issues related to atmospheric aerosols, clouds, and tropospheric chemistry, and studies the climate impacts of aerosols and anthropogenic pollutants.

Dan Cziczo’s research group focuses on the ways in which atmospheric aerosol particles can affect the Earth’s climate system. Aerosols can directly impact climate by absorbing or scattering solar and terrestrial radiation. Particles can also indirectly affect climate by acting as the seeds on which cloud droplets and ice crystals form. Elucidating how particle properties, especially chemical composition, impact the climate system is the goal of our group.

Colette Heald's research group investigates the global composition of the atmosphere with a focus on biosphere-atmosphere interactions, long range transport of pollution and aerosol processes. We use modeling tools, satellite observations and field campaign measurements to investigate the environmental impacts of gases and particles in the troposphere.

Susan Solomon's research group is interested in atmospheric chemistry and its effect on the Earth's climate system.

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