Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Time: 02:00 pm
Sponsored / Hosted by
Gudrun Magnusdottir

Department Seminar: Lyssa Freese

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 | 02:00 pm
Lyssa Freese
Postdoctoral Fellow
Event Details

Title: Human influence on our atmosphere, and the atmosphere’s impact on us

Abstract: Humans are modifying the environment around us—from climate change to air pollution—in ways that feedback on society. Emissions of both long- and short-lived pollutants have local and global impacts, with large spatial variability. As we transition our infrastructure to mitigate and adapt to our changing climate and environment, we need to better understand the spatial heterogeneity in the impact that atmospheric changes have on humans.

Specifically, I will present a new approach for emulating the spatial temperature response to CO2 emissions based on Green’s Functions diagnosed from available earth system model simulations. Then, to understand the impacts of this spatial heterogeneity in climate response, I quantify the climate damage from and to each country due to current CO2 emissions. I demonstrate that damage due to current emissions far exceeds existing pledges for climate damage funds to developing nations. However, a changing climate is not the entire story—our infrastructure also emits pollutants that contribute to changes in air quality. To address this, I will present research on the impact that nuclear power plant closures—which are likely to occur in the coming decades— could have on the energy transition, air quality, health, and equity in the United States. Looking forward, I plan to continue to integrate climate science, atmospheric chemistry, and energy system modeling to evaluate the impacts of the energy transition and climate change on society.

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.