A recent article by EOS writer Jackie Rocheleau highlights a growing concern about wildfire smoke and other pollutants that continue to exist in a diluted quantity within our atmosphere. With wildfires growing in size and quantity due to climate change, the original idea that simply waiting for the pollutants to disperse would be enough to protect human health, is coming into question.
The Air Quality Monitoring Team (AQMT) at UC Davis has operated the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) ambient speciated particulate monitoring network since its inception in 1988. Beginning in 2015, AQMT took on the laboratory analysis and data handling for the Chemical Speciation Network (CSN). These two networks encompass over 300 sites delivering over 60 PM2.5 species across the country every third day.
In the narrative of the “Tragedy of the Commons”,(1,2) a shared grazing area (aka common pool resource(3)) is trampled into overgrazed ruin by a pervasion of actors who exploit the resource more quickly than can be sustainably allotted. Regardless of whether there is consciousness of guilt, this is theft.
Year after year California has seen some of the largest and most deadly wildfires, not only by acreage burned, but by also by hazardous air quality. The smoke has turned some cities in neighboring state’s air quality into the dirties in the world, including outside of the state.
New research from Xiaolu Zhang, Krystyna Trzepla, Warren White, Sean Raffuse, and Nicole Pauly Hyslop
Thermal–optical analysis (TOA) is a class of methods widely used for determining organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) in atmospheric aerosols collected on filters. Results from TOA vary not only with differences in operating protocols for the analysis, but also with details of the instrumentation with which a given protocol is carried out.
Roy Harrison, a researcher and professor at the University of Birmingham, UK, recently conducted a study to review the reductions in PM 2.5 and NO2 levels that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns over 11 cities. Harrison applied machine learning techniques to remove the effects of weather on the gaseous concentrations to see how the air quality had truly changed due to the lockdowns.