Our aim is to understand anthropogenic impact on atmospheric composition within the context of pollution and climate:
One focus is on chemical mechanisms that control concentrations of ozone (O3) and secondary organic aerosol (SOA), secondary pollutants with profound effects on climate, human health, and the environment. This work aims at providing detailed understanding of how anthropogenic emissions influence rate of chemical processes in the atmosphere as well as the resulting product formation. This is important for predicting future conditions, but also for understanding the pre-industrial state of the atmosphere, which is the most commonly used starting point for defining humaninduced changes and the role of the Anthropocene.
Another focus is understanding how differences in key physical and chemical properties of materials determine their radiative parameters and chemical reactivity in the aerosol phase. This focus develops fundamental scientific underpinnings for assessing the merits and risks of injections of stratospheric aerosol, suggested as a means to complement mitigation in moderating climate change and, perhaps, even bolstering stratospheric ozone recovery. This work requires new laboratory measurements of heterogeneous reaction rates under stratospheric conditions, and of the optical properties of solids with modern instrumentation.
Instrument Development and Spectroscopy
New laser and mass-spectrometric instrumentation enable new types of measurements and provide new insights.
We deploy our formaldehyde and (methyl)glyoxal instruments to collect land, sea and air measurements, in areas dominated by both anthropogenic and biogenic emissions.
These field campaigns allow us to test our knowledge of atmospheric reaction mechanisms across all ranges of conditions and environments. It is crucial for our models to make accurate predictions in any situation, particularly in an era with rapidly shifting emission inventories for both the developing and developed world.