STAR Black Carbon 2016 Webinar Series
Date and Time
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST
Black carbon is the sooty material emitted from combustion processes, and it can affect human health and the climate. Its role in the atmosphere is broad and complex. In 2010, EPA awarded ten grants through the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program to universities and organizations to address Black Carbon’s Role in Global to Local Scale Climate and Air Quality. Grantees focused on various black carbon research issues, such as better accounting for emissions and uncertainty, tracking how black carbon “ages” or reacts in the atmosphere, and better representing its ability to impact cloud droplet formation. Highlights from the research findings were summarized in this four-part webinar series.
Monday, Oct. 31
Topic: Changing Chemistry over Time
In simple models, particles have often been represented as individual species floating around with no interactions, but real particles in the atmosphere have been observed to mix with other gas and particulate species. Through processes like physical layering or chemical reaction, one species can be partially or fully covered by one or more other species. These presentations covered how black carbon can mix with other gas and particulate species in the atmosphere and change over time.
Nicole Riemer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Particle-Resolved Simulations for Quantifying Black Carbon Climate Impact and Model Uncertainty
Spyros Pandis, Carnegie Mellon University Center for Atmospheric Particulate Studies
Black Carbon, Air Quality and Climate: From the Local to the Global Scale
Particle-Resolved Simulations for Quantifying Black Carbon Climate Impact and Model Uncertainty (PDF)(43 pp, 2 MB, 11/14/2016)
Black Carbon, Air Quality and Climate (PDF)(44 pp, 3 MB, 11/2/2016)
Monday, Nov. 7
Topic: Accounting for Impact, Emissions, and Uncertainty
Black carbon absorbs light as heat, which can affect the climate. When black carbon is aloft, it can warm the air and instigate changes in rain and cloud patterns; black carbon on snow can speed up melting. These presentations highlighted new research on black carbon behavior, how fuel type and cookstove use changes emissions in developing areas, and how black carbon deposition on snow affects climate.
Tami Bond, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Linking Regional Aerosol Emission Changes with Multiple Impact Measures through Direct and Cloud-Related Forcing Estimates
Rufus Edwards, University of California – Irvine
Characterization Of Emissions From Small, Variable Solid Fuel Combustion Sources For Determining Global Emissions And Climate Impact
Sarah Doherty, University of Washington
BC and Other Light-Absorbing Impurities in North American Great Plains Snow: Sources, Impacts, and a Comparison with North China Snow
Linking Regional Aerosol Emission Changes with Multiple Impact Measures through Direct and Cloud-Related Forcing Estimates (PDF) (36 pp, 7 MB, 11/15/2016)
Characterization Of Emissions From Small, Variable Solid Fuel Combustion Sources For Determining Global Emissions And Climate Impact (PDF) (32 pp, 5 MB, 11/18/2016)
Black carbon & other light- absorbing particles in snow in Central North America & N. China (PDF) (40 pp, 6 MB, 11/18/2016)
Monday, Nov. 21
Topic: Interactions with Water
Cloud formation is driven by how a particle attracts water over time. A particle’s water uptake – or hygroscopicity – can also affect how effectively it can deposit itself in the lungs, making this both a climate and health issue. These presentations discussed advances in research regarding black carbon water uptake.
Akua Asa-Awuku, University of California – Riverside
Understanding the Hygroscopic Properties of Black Carbon/Organic Carbon Mixing States: Connecting Climate and Health Impacts of Anthropogenic Aerosol
Annmarie Carlton, Rutgers University
Improved Prediction of the Vertical Profile of Atmospheric Black Carbon: Development and Evaluation of WRF-CMAQ
Connecting Climate and Health Impacts of Anthropogenic Aerosol (PDF) (21 pp, 3 MB, 1/19/2017)
Friday, Dec. 9
Topic: Representation at Different Geographical Scales
The inclusion of better descriptions of black carbon (e.g. including brown carbon) will improve model predictions of both concentration and absorption. These researchers worked to improve black carbon representation in global, regional, and point-level models.
Jesse Kroll and Collette Heald, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Investigating the Effects Of Atmospheric Aging on the Radiative Properties and Climate Impacts of Black Carbon Aerosol
Scott Spak, University of Iowa
Constraining Urban-To-Global Scale Estimates of Black Carbon Distributions, Sources, Regional Climate Impacts, and Co-Benefit Metrics with Advanced Coupled Dynamic - Chemical Transport - Adjoint Models
James Schauer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Development of a Quantitative Accounting Framework for Black Carbon and Brown Carbon from Emissions Inventory to Impacts
Investigating the Effects of Atmospheric Aging on the Direct Radiative Properties and Climate Impacts of Black-and Brown-carbon Aerosol (PDF) (34 pp, 2 MB, 1/19/2017)
Constraining Urban-to-global Scale Estimates of Black Carbon Distributions, Sources, Regional Climate Impacts, and Co-benefit Metrics with Advanced Coupled Dynamic - Chemical Transport - Adjoint Models (PDF) (53 pp, 9 MB, 1/19/2017)
Development of a Quantitative Accounting Framework for Black Carbon and Brown Carbon from Emissions Inventory to Impacts (PDF) (26 pp, 2 MB, 1/19/2017)
These projects were funded through EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), National Center for Environmental Research (NCER), in cooperation with EPA's Air, Climate, and Energy (ACE) Research Program. The ACE Research Program provides useful science and tools to investigate regional differences in air pollution and the effects of global climate change, technology, and societal choice on local air quality and health. The research is intended for decision makers at the federal, regional, state and community levels.