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 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.

 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

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 Jaffe Group in the News

A Blob In The Ocean Means More Ozone In The Air
KUOW, February 21, 2017

Pacific Ocean 'Blob' blamed for making summer air quality worse in 2015
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Study: Coal trains pollute more than diesel trains into the Columbia Gorge
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Study: coal trains pollute twice as much as freight trains
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How an emission of hydrogen sulfide from Shell's refinery drifted over the Swinomish Reservation
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Crowdfunding goal met for Bellingham coal train air-pollution study
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Lacking Funding, Some Scientists Turn to the Crowd
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Importing air pollution from China
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China blamed for U.S. ozone
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Crowdfunding science: A new piece of the research grant puzzle
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Homes near rail lines face exposure to harmful emissions: study
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Study a window into coal train air pollution
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China may finally be taking air pollution seriously
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Coal-Hungry World Brings Tough Choices For Native Americans
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Worries in the Path of China's Air
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Public Presentation on Diesel and Coal Train Findings
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Mercury pollution: With pact's completion, the real work begins
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Pacific Northwest Weighs Environmental Risks of Cashing in on Coal Export Market
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Hazy days of summer: Southeast U.S. field work measures mercury, smog
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Smyrna airport site for project on nation's air pollution
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Coal trains fire up UW chemist
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What Coal-Train Dust Means For Human Health
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US cities suffer impact of downwind Chinese air pollution
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Wind Riders
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Researcher finds life flying high above
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UW Researchers finding the high life
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Big turnout expected for coal-transport project hearing
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Siberian Smoke streaks Seattle Skylines
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Asian Emissions put US cities over O3 limit
Nature, March 05 2012

Mercury from the Sky
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Chinese pollution felt in US
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Mercury in the Food Supply
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Airborne Microbes
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Made in China: imported Air Pollution
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More on Japan radiation
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U.S. radiation sensors show negligible readings
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UW Scientist Tracks Airborne Mercury From China
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Asia-produced ozone making its way to U.S., study finds
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Ozone from Asia linked to levels in Western U.S. skies
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Why Geologists Love Beer
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The Last Empire: China's Pollution Problem Goes Global
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Coal dependency hits environment
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Asian pollutants found atop Mount Bachelor
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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
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Ill Wind: Asia's Pollution Crisis featured Jaffe Group airborne research
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An import from Asia: Bad air
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Bad air drifts across Pacific
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Keeping alert to the threats of environmental changes
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Fiddling while Siberia burns: 'lungs of Europe' under threat from forest fires
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Air pollution from other countries drifts into USA
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Asia pumps out more mercury than previously thought
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