CPO’s Atmospheric Chemistry, Climate, and Carbon Cycle (AC4) Program, in partnership with NSF, supported a workshop on Air Quality in the Western U.S. (AQUARIUS) on September 25-26 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The workshop brought together 100 scientists from around the world to discuss a future field campaign to investigate the factors that control wintertime particulate matter formation across the western U.S. Particulate matter, especially PM2.5 which is harmful to human health, has generally decreased in recent years throughout the U.S., thanks to regulatory policies. However, several western U.S. basins have not seen improvement in wintertime particulate matter concentrations. This suggests there is a gap in understanding how the lower part of our atmosphere and complex chemical processes interact, especially in mountain valleys that often trap polluted air, to produce elevated particulate matter conditions. To improve understanding of these unique regions and processes, AQUARIUS discussed plans for a future aircraft campaign in the winter of 2021/2022.
Outcomes from the workshop include:
Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.
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