Atmospheric Composition: Chemistry, Climate, and Air Pollution

The atmosphere collects gases and aerosol particles injected directly by human activities and industry, wildfires, lightning, terrestrial plants and soils, and the oceans. These gases and aerosols are transformed through photochemistry, clouds and convection, large-scale transport and interactions with the land surface and ocean. The resulting atmosphere contains the mix of greenhouse gases and aerosols that drives climate as well as air pollution that directly harms human and natural systems. ESS researchers study the atmosphere using combinations of field and satellite observations, laboratory experiments, and numerical models. This improved scientific understanding of atmospheric composition, and how it might evolve in the 21st century, supports adaptation and policy planning regarding climate change and air quality.

Research Groups
Saltzman/Aydin Group
Faculty
Eric Saltzman & Murat Aydin

Production, emissions, and atmospheric chemistry of oceanic trace gases

Prather Group
Faculty
Michael Prather

Simulation of the physical, chemical and biological processes that determine atmospheric composition and development of numerical models of photochemistry and atmospheric radiation

Biosphere-Atmosphere-Human Interaction Research Group
Faculty
Saewung Kim

How biosphere-atmosphere-human interactions are affecting tropospheric oxidation capacity

Biosphere Atmosphere Interactions Group
Faculty
Alex Guenther

Investigating biosphere-atmosphere interactions on scales of individual cells to the whole earth system to improve predictions of biogeochemical fluxes, atmospheric composition, air pollution, climate and ecosystem health.

Microphysics, Radiation, and Data Science
Faculty
Charlie Zender

Improves realism of physical processes (albedo, emissivity, snow, firn, aerosols) for climate prediction, and develops high performance data analysis software

Druffel Group
Faculty
Ellen Druffel

Investigate why the 14C age of marine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is thousands of years old, despite evidence that most of it is produced in the surface ocean during photosynthesis

Czimczik Group
Faculty
Claudia Czimczik

Combines field observation with geochemical analyses to understand how climate and anthropogenic activities impact carbon cycling and storage in (Arctic) land ecosystems, air pollution, and the global carbon cycle.

Sustainable Systems Analysis Lab
Faculty
Steve Davis

Uses a wide range of environmental and economic data and multidisciplinary approaches to analyze the impacts from and on food, water, and energy systems. Research projects are problem-driven and solutions-oriented

Southon Group
Faculty
John Southon

Radiocarbon (14C) measurements to support C cycle research.

Faculty & Researchers
Eric Saltzman
Professor of Earth System Science
esaltzma@uci.edu
Michael Prather
Professor Earth System Science
mprather@uci.edu
Saewung Kim
Associate Professor of Earth System Science
saewung.kim@uci.edu
Alex Guenther
Professor of Earth System Science
alex.guenther@uci.edu
Charlie Zender
Professor of Earth System Science
zender@uci.edu
Ellen Druffel
Professor of Earth System Science
edruffel@uci.edu
Claudia Czimczik
Associate Professor of Earth System Science
czimczik@uci.edu
Steve Davis
Professor of Earth System Science
sjdavis@uci.edu
John Southon
Researcher
jsouthon@uci.edu

News

The work, done by scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and UCI, reveals the surprising role of icy mélange.
Professor Steven Allison has been announced as the new Director of the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, effective October 1, 2021.  The Newkirk Center has had a large impact on UCI's campus…
Irvine, Calif., Sept. 27, 2021 – Glaciologists at the University of California, Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have examined the dynamics underlying the calving of the Delaware-sized…

The Department of Earth System Science acknowledges our presence on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Acjachemen and Tongva peoples, who still hold strong cultural, spiritual and physical ties to this region.