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Jon on the very top of Mt. Bachelor Observatory, 9-2015
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 Train Research : Public health group uses Jaffe Group data to argue against Oakland coal port
Posted on 2016/6/27 12:50:00

A California-based public health group conducted an independent study of the health and safety risks of transporting coal through a proposed coal export terminal located in Oakland. Data from Jaffe Group research into coal dust from trains played a key role in the study.

Click here to read more about the study.

 Mt. Bachelor Observatory : First global model of arsenic transport
Posted on 2016/6/23 11:50:00

The intercontinental transport of arsenic is the focus of a new paper published by Wai, Wu, Li, Jaffe and Perry in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. In this groundbreaking research, the authors developed the first global model of atmospheric arsenic in order to understand intercontinental transport of arsenic, an extremely toxic pollutant. They used the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model to simulate the concentrations of atmospheric arsenic and compared the model results with arsenic measurements from Mount Bachelor Observatory (MBO) and other sites. In order to reduce global arsenic pollution it is essential to understand its sources and transport. Wai et al. found that arsenic emissions from Asia are the dominant source of atmospheric arsenic in the Northern Hemisphere, contributing 38% of total arsenic deposition over North America. Arsenic measurements from the MBO figure prominently in the paper.

Click here to read the full paper.

The figure below shows arsenic concentrations measured at MBO for Spring 2011 compared with the results predicted from the model.

 Mt. Bachelor Observatory : New paper on ozone in the western US
Posted on 2016/3/9 12:00:00

Surface ozone is a recognized health hazard. In the US, domestic human-caused emissions of ozone precursors have declined since 1990. One would expect that the concentrations of ozone across the country would have decreased as well. However, in the western US, springtime ozone has increased significantly from 1995 to 2011. The increase is likely due to increasing emissions in Asia and their long-range transport to the western US.

In a newly published paper, Pao Baylon et al. examined baseline ozone, measurements of tropospheric ozone with a negligible influence from local emissions, at Mt. Bachelor Observatory (MBO), a high-elevation site in central Oregon. In Spring 2012, they observed an increase in ozone at MBO and at other sites in the western US compared to previous years. They showed that this increase was due to enhanced upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UT/LS) events. In addition, they found that, in Spring 2012, several sites measured ozone concentrations above the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) that were influenced by ozone transported from the UT/LS.

Because of the influence of ozone transported downwind from the UT/LS, these surface sites experienced an increase in the number of days when their maximum daily 8-hour average (MDA8) ozone mixing ratios exceeded the standard. Under current standards, high-ozone events such as UT/LS episodes and Asian long-range transport events could affect the attainment status of a monitoring site if these episodes are not identified as exceptional events, which the EPA defines as an uncontrollable event that affected air quality. Understanding the nature and the year-to-year variability of exceptional events is therefore critical for effective implementation of the US NAAQS.

Click here to read the full Environmental Science & Technology paper.



Caption: Ozone (O3) from the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UT/LS) is measured at Mt. Bachelor Observatory, a mountaintop site. Some of this ozone is transported downwind to surface sites. The ozone measured at these surface sites includes ozone resulting from local emissions and transported ozone.

 Mt. Bachelor Observatory : New paper published on carbon dioxide at Mt. Bachelor
Posted on 2016/1/15 16:10:00

Variations in carbon dioxide in the free troposphere and boundary layer observed at Mt. Bachelor are examined in a new paper by Crystal McClure and her coauthors. Published in the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics at Mountain Sites special issue of Aerosol and Air Quality Research, the authors find that not all wildfire and pollution events correlate well with an increase in CO2 concentrations. Also, even though Mt. Bachelor experiences a steady increase in CO2 similar to other mountaintop sites (1.48 ppmv/year), the back-trajectory cluster analysis for spring shows higher ozone and lower water vapor. This is indicative of long-range, high-altitude transport.

Click here to read the full paper.

 Train Research : New peer-reviewed paper on coal trains in the Columbia River Gorge
Posted on 2015/11/23 11:40:00

A new Jaffe Group paper, published in Atmospheric Pollution Research, describes the air quality impacts of coal trains passing through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Washington, USA.

The research data, collected in summer 2014, demonstrate that, on average, a diesel-powered open-top coal train releases nearly twice as much respirable total particulate matter (PM2.5--particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 microns) compared to a diesel-powered freight train. In addition, 5.4 percent of all coal trains observed were"super-dusters," generating visible dust plumes, captured by video camera, and having the highest concentrations of respirable particulate matter.

The Jaffe Group research on the air quality impact of coal trains began in summer 2013 with a study of air quality near rail lines in Seattle and the Columbia Gorge. In summer 2014, additional research was conducted in the Columbia River Gorge, resulting in this new paper.


To learn more about the Apollo train research, click here.

Click here to read the pdf of the full article.

Click here to read the full article as a Word document.

Click here to view video of a July 27, 2014, coal train.

Click here to view video of an August 7, 2014, coal train.






Apollo team in the Columbia River Gorge, Summer 2014
Front: Madison Minsk, Juliane Fry, Dan Jaffe and Jonathan Hee.
Back: Benjamin Ayres and Justin Putz.

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 Jaffe Group in the News

Concerns about coal train dust in Spokane
KHQ NBC Right Now, July 26, 2016

BNSF invests $26 million in Pasco train facility
Tri-City Herald, May 28, 2016

Study: Coal trains pollute more than diesel trains into the Columbia Gorge
Oregon Public Broadcasting, November 23, 2015

Study documents health hazard from coal trains
Portland Tribune, November 23, 2015

Study: coal trains pollute twice as much as freight trains
East Oregonian, November 23, 2015

Coal export terminals: A source of jobs, or coal dust and climate change?
News Tribune (Tacoma), November 20, 2015

Oakland mulls challenge of coal shipments
Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 7, 2015

EPA releases a stricter, health-based smog standard
High Country News, October 1, 2015

Coal's health dangers spark local debate
Post News Group, July 24, 2015

How an emission of hydrogen sulfide from Shell's refinery drifted over the Swinomish Reservation
The Stranger, June 12, 2015

Tiny particles delay study of coal port proposal
Crosscut.com, March 19, 2015

Crowdfunding goal met for Bellingham coal train air-pollution study
Bellingham Herald, December, 5, 2014

UW professor seeks money to study pollution from coal trains in Whatcom County
Bellingham Herald, November 14, 2014

Lacking Funding, Some Scientists Turn to the Crowd
Science Friday, November 14, 2014

Importing air pollution from China
CBC, September 21, 2014

China blamed for U.S. ozone
Science, September 12, 2014

Crowdfunding science: A new piece of the research grant puzzle
Earth Magazine, July 27, 2014

Homes near rail lines face exposure to harmful emissions: study
The Vancouver Sun, March 23, 2014

Study a window into coal train air pollution
The Olympian, March 11, 2014

China may finally be taking air pollution seriously
The News Tribune, Tacoma, February 6, 2014

Coal-Hungry World Brings Tough Choices For Native Americans
Huffington Post, January 20, 2014

Worries in the Path of China's Air
The New York Times, December 25, 2013

New research from UW Bothell professor adds fuel to coal-train fight
The Seattle Times, November 5, 2013

Public Presentation on Diesel and Coal Train Findings
UW News, November 4, 2013
UWB Press Release, October 21, 2013

Mercury pollution: With pact's completion, the real work begins
Science, September 2013

Pacific Northwest Weighs Environmental Risks of Cashing in on Coal Export Market
PBS (Video), August 2, 2013

Hazy days of summer: Southeast U.S. field work measures mercury, smog
UW Today, July 9, 2013

Smyrna airport site for project on nation's air pollution
Tennessean, June 23, 2013

What Coal-Train Dust Means For Human Health
KUOW Radio, March 11, 2013

US cities suffer impact of downwind Chinese air pollution
China Dialogue, January 17, 2013

Wind Riders
The Daily, January 9, 2013

Researcher finds life flying high above
Phys.Org, January 7, 2013

UW Researchers finding the high life
The Seattle Times, December 31, 2012

Big turnout expected for coal-transport project hearing
The Seattle Times, December 12, 2012

Siberian Smoke streaks Seattle Skylines
The Seattle Times, July 14 2012

Asian Emissions put US cities over O3 limit
Nature, March 05 2012

Mercury from the Sky
Decoded Science, December 20, 2011

Chinese pollution felt in US
The Alicia Patterson Foundation, 2011

Mercury in the Food Supply
The Guardian News, UK

Airborne Microbes
Environment 360, Yale
EOS, Transactions AGU, August 2011

Made in China: imported Air Pollution
Discover Magazine, April 2011

More on Japan radiation
Puget Sound Business Journal, Q&A with Dan Jaffe
KING 5 News, April 2011

U.S. radiation sensors show negligible readings
Seattle Times
KPLU NPR Radio
KIRO TV, March 2011

UW Scientist Tracks Airborne Mercury From China
KUOW Radio, October 2010

Asia-produced ozone making its way to U.S., study finds
McClatchy, February 2010

Ozone from Asia linked to levels in Western U.S. skies
Desert News, January 2010

Why Geologists Love Beer
Wired Science, December 2009

Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
Made in China, April 2009

The Last Empire: China's Pollution Problem Goes Global
Mother Jones, January 2008

Coal dependency hits environment
Associated Press, Time Online, November 6, 2007

Asian pollutants found atop Mount Bachelor
Associated Press, The Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), July 16, 2007

Scientist Sees Bad Days Ahead for Gorge Air
The Oregonian, March 14, 2007

Jaffe Group Doctoral Candidate David Reidmiller gave testimony before the Washington State Senate
Joint Memorial 8000, February 22, 2007

Ill Wind: Asia's Pollution Crisis featured Jaffe Group airborne research
CNN, Spring 2006

China's mercury flushes into Oregon's rivers
The Oregonian, November 24, 2006

An import from Asia: Bad air
Seattle Times, April 21, 2006

Bad air drifts across Pacific
Tacoma News Tribune, Sept. 20, 2005

Keeping alert to the threats of environmental changes
The Seattle Times, June 1, 2005

Fiddling while Siberia burns: 'lungs of Europe' under threat from forest fires
The Independent, May 31, 2005

Air pollution from other countries drifts into USA
USA Today, March 13, 2005

Asia pumps out more mercury than previously thought
ES&T Online News, January 5, 2005


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