Special Symposia

Linking Aerosols with Public Health in a Changing World

Chair: Rodney Weber, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Co-Chair: Vishal Verma, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA

Awareness of the detrimental health effects of outdoor air pollution has been increasing. The World Health Organization recently announced that ambient pollution is a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths, and a Lancet study on the global burden of disease ranked particulate matter as one of the highest risk factors. Wide-spread and severe air pollution episodes in the developing economies of Southeast Asia and Asia have not only increased public awareness of these issues but also have provided unique opportunities to quantify their enormous impact. Advances are rapidly being made in linking aerosols and health endpoints through epidemiological, panel and concentrated air pollutant studies. Use of satellite data and low-cost widely dispersed sensors are better assessing exposures. Continuing progress in aerosol chemical characterization have provided new insights, including varies measures of aerosol oxidative properties, based on the mechanistic model that certain aerosol components may catalytically generate oxidants in vivo leading to oxidative stress and inflammation.  This symposium solicits contributions in all areas that address aerosol-health linkages.

Biomass Burning Aerosol: From Emissions to Impacts

Co-chairs: Sonia M. Kreidenweis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO and
Ryan Sullivan, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Biomass burning is receiving increased attention for its potential roles in visibility reduction, negative impacts on air quality and health, and perturbations to regional climate through effects on circulation and precipitation patterns. Wildfire, prescribed fire, and domestic combustion of biomass represent regionally-important sources of trace gases and particles that are implicated in these effects. In addition, transport and deposition of absorbing particles onto snow and ice can accelerate melting, with correspondingly large impacts on water resources and local ecosystems. Regional impacts can be especially important and raise considerable concern in the United State sand other regions throughout the globe. We invite contributed papers covering aspects of biomass burning, including characterization of emissions, and studies of human health, visibility, and climate impacts. Papers addressing regional impacts in the United States and other parts of the world, as well as impacts on global scales, are all welcomed.

Aerosol Sources from Emerging Energy Technologies and Production

Co-chairs: Akua Asa-Awuku, University of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA and
David Cocker, University of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA

This symposium solicits contributions that improve our understanding of the aerosol budget from advanced energy technology sources. While the sources and production of energy are major drivers of national economic growth, they also play a fundamental role in regional air quality and global climate change. However, the contribution of the emerging energy sources (e.g., but not limited to, natural gas, alternative fossil fuels, algae, fracking, biomass, solar, biochar) to the aerosol budget has yet to be fully characterized. Abstracts submitted to this symposium will provide insight into the theoretical characterization, experimental methods, policy standards, characterization and instrumentation of aerosols emitted from emerging energy technologies.

Air Quality and Climate in the Southeast US: Insights from Recent Measurement Campaigns

Co-chairs: Ann Marie Carleton, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Robert Griffin, Rice University, Houston, TX

Though widely acknowledged to occur, the extent to which emissions from human activity alter the fate of biogenic emissions to form radical species, ozone and particulate matter, including optically active and cloud-forming particles, is poorly understood. Comprehensive investigations among 100s of scientists converged on the Southeastern U.S. during the summers of 2012 and 2013 to address these critical knowledge gaps. Coordinated studies in the Southeast U.S. during the 1990s redefined air quality management. In the past 20+ years since, our understanding of atmospheric chemistry has vastly improved largely due to improved temporal resolution and an expanded spectrum of measureable compounds through state-of-art instrumentation. Experimental results from DC3 (Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry), DISCOVER-AQ, the Southeast Atmosphere Study (SAS), and SEAC4RS (Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys) have the potential to produce substantial leaps in our understanding.  This symposium solicits contributions presenting results and insights obtained from these campaigns.

Advances in the Physics and Chemistry of New Particle Formation and Growth

Co-chairs: James N. Smith, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO and
Jeffrey R. Pierce, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

This symposium solicits contributions that describe research progress on atmospheric aerosol nucleation and growth, including laboratory studies, theoretical calculations and modeling, and field measurements. This is currently a time of rapid advances in research on atmospheric aerosol nucleation and the growth of nanometer-sized aerosol. New instruments can routinely detect particles as small as 1.5 nm in diameter and measure the composition of ambient charged and neutral clusters. New facilities now allow laboratory studies of nucleation with very low levels of contaminants and at precursor concentrations that approximate those in the real atmosphere. Theoretical calculations are providing insights into the mechanisms of nucleation and growth. Regional and global models that account for nucleated aerosols are increasing in sophistication. The foci of these new instruments, facilities, and models are the fundamental questions that have challenged researchers for generations: What chemical species are responsible for nucleation? What species and mechanisms are responsible for the growth of freshly nucleated atmospheric aerosol? What are the ultimate impacts of atmospheric new particle formation in global chemistry and climate?



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