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Wildfire plume seen from Mt. Bachelor, III
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 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.

 Group News : Dan Jaffe is now an editor-in-chief of AAQR
Posted on 2015/11/3 13:40:00

Dan Jaffe has recently added a new title to his resume--editor-in-chief of Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR). AAQR is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed, international journal covering all aspects of aerosol science and technology, atmospheric science and air quality-related issues.

Click here to learn more about AAQR and read accepted and published articles.

 Group News : Lei Zhang returns as a postdoc researcher
Posted on 2015/9/22 17:50:00

The Jaffe Group welcomes back Dr. Lei Zhang as a postdoctoral research associate. In January of this year, Lei returned home to Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, after being a visiting scholar with our group for three months. We're pleased he has returned to our group and will be contributing his expertise as he focuses on the optical and chemical properties of fine particles in order to determine pollution sources. Lei shares our enthusiasm: "I am flattered to join the Jaffe Group. Everyone is so nice that I feel at home." Thanks, Lei! We're glad you've joined us.

Fast facts about Lei:

- Hometown: Hangzhou--famous for its Dragon Well green tea!

- Education: Ph.D. from Tsinghua University. His research focused on atmospheric mercury, including the chemical mechanisms of coal combustion, emission inventories for anthropogenic sources and long-term ground station observation.

- Most recently published paper: Updated Emission Inventories for Speciated Atmospheric Mercury from Anthropogenic Sources in China. Click here to see the full paper.

- Places where Lei was a visiting scholar: Environment Canada, the Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research in Italy, Washington University in St. Louis and the UW

- Favorite movies: Inception and The Shawshank Redemption

- Wish list while in the US: Visiting Yellowstone, improving skiing skills, seeing a live NBA game (fingers crossed for the Sonics' return) and more scientific papers--not in that order

Left: Two great scientists at the Teddy Bear Museum, Jeju Island, Korea

 Mt. Bachelor Observatory : 3 new Mt. Bachelor Observatory papers submitted
Posted on 2015/8/27 12:27:23

Jaffe Group members are submitting 3 new papers for publication. The papers are:

- Particulate matter, ozone, and nitrogen species in aged wildfire plumes observed at the Mount Bachelor Observatory, a high elevation site in the Pacific Northwest by Nicole Wigder et al.

- Carbon dioxide in the free troposphere and boundary layer at the Mt. Bachelor Observatory by Crystal McClure et al.

- Interannual variability in background ozone and its relationship to surface ozone in the western U.S. by Pao Baylon et al.

 Airborne Research : New paper on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants
Posted on 2015/8/20 14:20:00

Coal-fired power plants are estimated to account for most of the mercury (Hg) emitted by stationary combustion sources. A new paper by Jesse Ambrose et al., published in Environmental Science & Technology, compared the observed total Hg enhancement ratios (ERs) for 6 coal-fired power plants with Hg emission ratios (EmRs) from the National Emissions Inventory (NEI) and the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Their results demonstrate that both the 2011 NEI and the 2013 TRI data tend to be biased low compared to measured values.

They have two recommendations based on their research:
- "The Hg inventories can be improved by targeting CFPPs for which the NEI- and TRI-based EmRs have significant disagreements."
- "Future versions of the Hg inventories should provide greater traceability and uncertainty estimates."

This research was carried out over the southeastern U.S. in 2013 aboard the National Science Foundation's C-130 research aircraft as part of the Nitrogen, Oxidants, Mercury, and Aerosol Distributions, Sources, and Sinks (NOMADSS) experiment. Mercury measurements were made using the University of Washington's Detector for Oxidized Hg Species (DOHGS).

Find the full paper here.
Read more about NOMADSS here.

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 Jaffe Group in the News

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
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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