Recently Published Research

New study questions the idea that the solution to pollution is dilution

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. 

Nationwide Speciated Particulate Monitoring – IMPROVE and CSN at UC Davis

Overview

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.

Do Not Steal.

Introduction

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.

Intercomparison of thermal–optical carbon measurements by Sunset and Desert Research Institute (DRI) analyzers using the IMPROVE_A protocol

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.

Air quality post-pandemic didn't improve as previously suspected

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. 

Premature death from cross-state air pollution decreases from 53% to 41%

It’s widely known through the Air Quality Research Center that outdoor air pollution leads to untimely deaths throughout the world, however, a recent publication by Dr. Erwan Monier, Associate Professor of Climate Change Impacts in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, and associates demonstrated that many of these deaths are a result of cross-state air pollution. 

Do immature lungs have air–blood barriers that are more permeable to inhaled nanoparticles than those of fully developed mature lungs?

A recent collaborative study between Harvard and UC Davis produced data backing the notion that nanoparticles (NP) more frequently crossed the air-blood lung barrier to the rest of the body in infant rats than adults. Fascinatingly, this higher permeability demonstrates immature lungs do not follow the same directives as mature lungs. 

PM2.5 and Ozone only slightly reduced during the COVID lockdown in China

A recent study by the University of Leeds and the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen divulged PM2.5 had only a small reduction across China and it was not lowered at all in Northeast China. The PM2.5 reduction of 11% across China was disappointing in comparison to the reduction 27% of NO2 across China.  

Lead author Ben Silver, from the University of Leeds, said: “PM2.5 particles had only a modest reduction and are the most harmful constituent of air pollution, as they travel deep into the lungs and bloodstream and damage the lungs and heart.