AC4: Funded Projects

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PI: Amy Sullivan (Colorado State University)

Co-PI: Rodney Weber (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

This project will make PILS (Particle-into-Liquid Sampler) measurements on the AEROMMA WP-3 NOAA aircraft to provide aerosol composition data for the AEROMMA Campaign. The PILS is a well-established aerosol collection device that provides a liquid sample containing dissolved aerosol particles which can be analyzed by various methods. These measurements will provide high chemical specificity of sulfur species to complement other aerosol composition measurements to be deployed, such as aerosol mass spectrometry, and will be used to address the following research questions: (1) What are the differences in the type of sulfate observed in urban vs. marine emissions? (2) How important of a source is biomass burning in the study region during summer? How does it compare to winter? (3) What is the pH of the aerosol in the study region in summer? How does it compare to winter? Overall, the project will help provide information that can aid in guiding emission control strategies aimed at helping to meet air quality standards to protect human health.

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PI: Ilana Pollack (Colorado State University)

Co-PI: Emily Fischer (Colorado State University); Jeffrey Pierce (Colorado State University)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

Coastal megacities like Los Angeles and New York City experience some of the worst air quality in the United States The summer 2021 AEROMMA field campaign will address precursor emissions, pollutant formation, and transport between megacities and marine environments. Gas-phase ammonia (NH3) is an essential observation during the AEROMMA study. NH3 is an unregulated air pollutant that contributes to fine particle formation and nitrogen deposition. However, our observations of the atmospheric sources, sinks, and phase partitioning of NH3 are limited compared to other major anthropogenic pollutants. In contrast to declining emissions of NOx from combustion sources, the emissions of NH3 from combustion and agricultural activities have grown, and the deposition of reduced nitrogen has increased. NH3 emissions, particularly from vehicular sources in urban areas, are highly under constrained. This project will deploy a flight-ready quantum-cascade tunable infrared laser direct absorption spectrometer aboard the NOAA WP-3 aircraft to provide observations of gas-phase NH3 for the AEROMMA field campaign. Through the NH3 measurements and analysis objectives, we will be able to provide information about the abundances and emissions of NH3 relative to other regulated pollutants as well as the chemical processes leading to fine particle formation (specifically ammonium aerosol formation) in these megacity and marine environments. This information will aid in guiding emission control strategies and policies aimed at optimizing air quality standards for protecting human health.

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PI: Shantanu Jathar (Colorado State University)

Co-PI: Jeffrey Pierce (Colorado State University)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

While emissions from traditional sources have been strictly controlled, newly identified sources, namely VCPs and food cooking, may contribute substantially to the atmospheric chemistry and composition as well as air quality from urban to regional scales. The goal of this research is to study the emerging role of VCPs and food cooking emissions on ozone and organic aerosol, as well as the aerosol size distribution in the urban atmosphere, in the evolving downwind plume, and on regional aerosol properties. The project has three objectives. In Objective 1, recent laboratory data will be leveraged to develop mechanisms and parameterizations to represent ozone and aerosol formation from VCPs and cooking sources. In Objective 2, aircraft observations and plume-model simulations will be used to understand the formation and evolution of ozone and aerosol mass, size, and composition in urban plumes, sampled during the AEROMMA field campaign. In Objective 3, the mechanisms and parameters developed and evaluated in the previous objectives will be used in a regional chemistry-climate model (WRF-Chem) to simulate the atmospheric chemistry and air quality in NYC and four other North American cities studied during the AEROMMA field campaign. The plume-model and WRF-Chem simulations will quantify the contribution of VCPs and cooking sources to the urban and regional, ozone and aerosol burden and test if the inclusion of these sources improves the model performance in these cities.

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PI: Saewung Kim (University of California, Irvine)

Co-PI: Alex Guenther (University of California, Irvine)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

Despite a long history of the ozone pollution problem, the overall conceptual framework to evaluate ozone production has not been advanced since the mid-90s. This study is expected to substantially move this framework forward with a new metric to define the ozone production regime in the New York Metropolitan Area (NYMA) during the AEROMMA campaign by simultaneously deploying total hydroxide (OH) reactivity and VOC observation systems at two sites. The resulting comprehensive observational dataset will be used to evaluate instantaneous ozone production regimes in the emission and the downwind sites. The outcomes of the research activities are a comprehensive understanding of the role of complicated mixtures of VOCs in NYC and the surrounding region for determining trace gas reactivity and ozone production to accurately diagnose the status of ozone pollution in the New York Metropolitan area and confidently prognose overall pollution issues for potential pollutant abatement scenarios.

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PI: Joel Thornton (niversity of Washington)

Co-PI: Nga Lee (Sally) Ng (Georgia Tech)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

Atmospheric aerosol particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size (PM2.5) and ozone are major causes of degraded air quality, both adversely affecting human health and climate. The sources of PM2.5 and ozone in urban areas have complex relationships that may lead to co- benefits in policy attempts to regulate one or the other. The goal of the project is to conduct comprehensive, online and near real-time molecular-level measurements of gas and particle composition as part of the NOAA AEROMMA field campaign in two locations of the New York City metro region. The molecular-level information on an hourly basis of both gas and aerosol composition enables uniquely quantitative and detailed source apportionment of the organic aerosol fraction. This provides insights into not only important primary emission sources but also into relevant chemical processes governing the sensitivity and evolution of organic aerosol to changing climate variables, such as temperature, and anthropogenic emissions such as VOC and NOx. The project provides a unique set of observations and analyses that address fundamental questions about the impact of anthropogenic and biogenic emissions together with changing temperatures on urban PM sources and abundance.

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PI: Ezra Wood (Drexel University)

Co-PI:

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

The ultimate impacts of VCP emissions on air quality, in particular ozone formation, are not well quantified though preliminary studies indicate that they do enhance concentrations of both ozone and secondary organic aerosol under certain conditions. A logical method to assess the impact of VCPs on ozone formation and concentrations would be to make extensive measurements of these compounds at one or more measurement sites and to simultaneously directly determine the instantaneous ozone formation rate. This project will do exactly that by deploying the ?ECHAMP? peroxy radical sensor to a site in upper Manhattan (CUNY Advanced Science Research Center) to join the New York City metropolitan Measurements of Emissions and TransformationS (NYC-METS) project. The goal of NYC-METS, which is already funded by NOAA AC4 and will run concurrently with AEROMMA, is to characterize the emissions and transformations of non-traditional organic compounds in New York City. Net ozone formation results from the reaction of peroxy radicals (HO2 and RO2) with nitric oxide (NO), forming photolabile nitrogen dioxide (NO2). By adding measurements of peroxy radicals to the NYC-METS suite of measurements, the project will be able to directly quantify the impact of VCPs on ozone formation in New York City.

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PI: Delphine Farmer (Colorado State University)

Co-PI: Dylan Millet (University of Minnesota); Timothy Griffis (University of Minnesota)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

Urban VOC emissions contribute to smog through formation of ozone and secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Quantifying urban VOC sources is a major challenge of importance for air quality and for understanding the reactive carbon cycle. This project will help address this challenge by directly quantifying the urban flux of reactive carbon flux by eddy covariance. Specifically, the project applies two complimentary time-of-flight chemical ionization mass spectrometers to measure fluxes, gradients, and concentrations of an expansive suite of reactive VOCs from a tower in metropolitan New York as part of AEROMMA. The measurements will make a key contribution to the broader AEROMMA campaign by sampling a predominantly residential footprint that represents a critical component of the diverse NY landscape. The project provides significant broader impacts to the scientific community and to the general public through: i) enhanced VOC understanding for improving atmospheric models, ii) better source apportionment for more accurate air quality predictions, and iii) unique opportunities for public engagement around the science of air pollution.

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PI: Rachel O?Brien (William and Mary)

Co-PI: Andy Ault (University of Michigan)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

Ambient air pollution in major urban areas leads to millions of premature deaths in the United States each year, primarily from particulate matter and ozone. A major unknown is the role of VCPs in the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) in urban areas. This project aims to expand the breadth of knowledge gained at a planned ground site deployment during the AEROMMA campaign. The project team will collect size resolved aerosol particle samples at the two field sites that are being run in coordination with AEROMMA and the New York City metropolitan Measurements of Emissions and TransformationS (NYC-METS) campaign. This additional information will provide improved understanding of SOA formation and sources. Results from planned project experiments will provide a more complete view of the aerosol composition and the role of VCPs in SOA formation in an urban environment.

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PI: Jennifer Kaiser (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Co-PI: Reem Hannun (University of Maryland, Baltimore County); Jason St. Clair (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

This project will deploy the In Situ Airborne Formaldehyde (ISAF) instrument on the NOAA WP-3D aircraft during the AEROMMA field campaign, and use formaldehyde measurements to examine the emissions and fate of VOCs in urban environments. Formaldehyde (HCHO) plays a central role in atmospheric oxidation processes as both a product of VOC oxidation and a source of oxidants. AEROMMA measurement priorities include detailed VOC speciation, and HCHO is a key component of the VOC pool. This study will enhance our ability to predict air quality now and in the future as a function of increasing urbanization and rising temperatures. Chemically detailed observations during AEROMMA alongside HCHO observations will be key to interpreting future high-resolution satellite-based HCHO observations, extending the impact of the AEROMMA project well beyond the spatial and temporal scales of the field campaign. The ultimate goal is to improve our understanding of VOC oxidation and thereby improve the air quality models used in policy decisions.

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PI: Rainer Volkamer (CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder)

Co-PI: Joost de Gouw (CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder); Stuart McKeen (CIRES, NOAA CSL)

Co-I:

Program: Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle and Climate (AC4)

Topics:

Observational gaps in AEROMMA exist due to airspace restrictions above downtown New York City, where most emissions occur. This project aims to fill this observation gap by adding remote sensing of formaldehyde, glyoxal, nitrogen dioxide, and other trace gases from aboard the NOAA Twin Otter aircraft during flights at/above the top of the boundary layer as part of the ?Coastal Urban Plume Dynamics Study? (CUPiDS). Society benefits from a better understanding of emissions that affect the exposure of a population of more than 23 million inhabitants to harmful effects of air pollution in the greater NYC area. Better constraints to emissions in turn lead to improved tools to predict the formation of ozone and aerosols using atmospheric models, which are used to manage air resources. In coastal cities, and Long Island Sound, anthropogenic ozone is expected to interact with natural ocean emissions (e.g., iodine), which modifies the lifetime of greenhouse gases, and has recently been shown to affect recovery of the ozone layer that shields society from harmful UV radiation that causes skin cancer. This project raises awareness about these interactions, which are relevant to public health and climate discussions, and benefit society by leading to a better understanding of the changing environment that we live in.

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