Indoor Air Quality

In developed societies, humans spend the vast majority of their time indoors. Building materials emit a wide range of air pollutants and their precursors into the indoor environment, as do the animals and pests that share these buildings. Domestic activities,such as cooking and cleaning, contribute to household pollutants, as do a wide range of commercial and industrial emissions in the workplace.

Global Climate Change

Anthropogenic emissions are causing enormous and long-lasting changes in the composition of the atmosphere, which in turn impacts the Earth’s climate. UC Davis students, staff, and faculty work on understanding the components and workings of our climate system and how it affects the world in which we live.

Agricultural Emissions

While agriculture provides the food we eat, it also affects the air we breathe. Examples of research include measuring the amounts of smog-forming chemicals emitted by cattle, designing equipment that reduces dust from harvesting, and exploring the potential of agriculture practices to mitigate climate change.

Visibility Degradation

From the haze that sometimes obscures vistas in our parks, to the smog that frequently shrouds our largest cities, the most noticeable sign of air pollution is poor visibility.

Urban and Regional Smog

Smog, a complex mixture of pollutant gases and particles, causes a myriad of health problems in addition to reducing visibility and damaging crops and ecosystems. Researchers at UC Davis measure the concentrations of the components of smog in California and around the world, including our role in the US EPA’s Chemical Speciation Network.

Transportation

Emissions from vehicles used for transportation are one of the greatest sources of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Engineers, social scientists, and ecologists work together to solve these multi-disciplinary problems.

Air Pollution and Health

Air pollution is one of the most dangerous environmental problems, causing many adverse health effects and responsible for 50,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. The US National Ambient Air Quality Standards are based primarily on the atmospheric concentration of air pollutants, such as ozone and particulate matter, which cause adverse health effects.