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Welcome to the Air Quality Research Center
Methane gas began leaking from underground storage tanks into the air last October. The leak at Aliso Canyon caused numerous health effects for residents - including headaches, nosebleeds and nausea - eventually forcing their relocation. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency. The Southern California Gas Company has been grappling with the largest environmental disaster in California’s history - generating not only human health impacts – but also local air quality and climate effects. Though the leak was finally sealed on February 18th - the total methane release had significant impacts on California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets - equaling the CH4 emissions from a medium-sized EU country and the air quality impact of more than half a million passenger cars. The GHG impact is estimated to be greater than that of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
UC Davis AQRC researchers conducted airborne studies of the plume to gauge air quality impacts. Their findings - derived from samplings of the airborne pollutants measured from a research aircraft - provide invaluable data on the leak rate and plume location and composition that will help to quantify population exposure, plan and evaluate leak control intervention strategies, and accurately assess the air quality and climate impacts of large-scale chemical gas accidents in the future.
You can read more about their research here:
Your backyard grill could be a big source of toxic air pollution, says Anthony Wexler, director of the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center
Anthony Wexler and his team at the UC Davis Air Quality Research Center have formed a link between toxic substances that pollute the air and what causes them
Black carbon particles released by burning fuels are far more deleterious than previously estimated by a U.N. report in 2007. “The paper makes a good case that our models are underestimating the effect,” said Christopher D. Cappa, an associate professor of Environmental Science at UC Davis
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