U.S. EPA Provides Nearly $1.5 Million to Two Universities in California to Protect Air Quality in a Changing Climate
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced $8.5 million in research funding to 12 universities to protect air quality from the current and future challenges associated with the impacts of climate change. University of California, Davis and University of California, Irvine were the only recipients in California.
“California has some of the worst air quality in the nation, and the changing climate could exacerbate the problem,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This research is an important step toward protecting the climate and achieving the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions substantially by 2050.”
UC Davis received $790,000 to study air quality, exposure, and health impact outcomes under a range of energy use and emission scenarios.
“We are excited to bring air pollution effects on public health into the discussion about California’s energy future,” said Michael J. Kleeman, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at UC Davis. “This information will allow everyone to see the complete picture including air quality impacts.”
UC Irvine received $701,304 to study the effects of ammonia and rising global temperatures on secondary organic aerosol formation.
“This grant offers an exciting opportunity to learn about air pollution in the future from both state-of-the-art experiments and from computer modelling techniques” said Donald Dabdub, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Irvine. “We know that both ammonia and organic compounds will be emitted more strongly in the future and this can bring about new chemical reactions, which increase the burden of particulate matter. We will be able to better quantify the effect of this previously unexplored chemistry at the end of this project.”
Research has shown that climate change can affect air quality and impact public health. With the funding, researchers across the country will expand investigations to understand:
- Health impacts from smoke due to a rise in wildfires that are increasing as a result of climate change;
- Atmospheric changes in air pollution chemistry that are occurring due to climate change;
- Potential consequences of increased levels of dust from particle pollution on human health and visibility;
- Drought and land-use changes in the western U.S. that may impact the incidence of dust storms; and
- Impacts to air quality from increased nitrogen-based fertilizer use.
To learn more about these awards, which were funded through the agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/594/records_per_page/ALL
To learn more about EPA’s air research, visit: http://www2.epa.gov/air-research