Caltech Young Investigators Lecture
Air pollution is one of the major environmental health risks globally. Among various air pollutants, the burden of disease is currently understood to be dominated by particulate matter, or aerosols. Aerosols also play a pivotal role in cloud formation and precipitation, and represent the major source of uncertainty in accounting for changes to Earth's energy balance due to human activities.
Atmospheric aerosols come from a variety of natural and anthropogenic sources. In this seminar, I will first discuss how primary aerosols (those directly emitted into the atmosphere) from urban emissions drive the spatial variability of air quality and exposure burdens at the intra-city scale. Then I will share some latest findings in secondary aerosols (those formed from atmospheric chemical reactions) in natural environments. These will include the effects of temperature on new-particle formation from boreal tree emissions and the recently discovered chemistry of dimethyl sulfide emitted from the oceans.