Wednesday, November 8, 2017
4:00 pm
South Mudd 365

Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Air Quality and Climate in the Central Amazon
Scot Martin, Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Abstract:

The Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon 2014–2015 (GoAmazon2014/5) experiment took place around the urban region of Manaus in central Amazonia across 2 years. The urban pollution plume was used to study the susceptibility of gases, aerosols, clouds, and rainfall to human activities in a tropical environment. Many aspects of air quality, weather, terrestrial ecosystems, and climate work differently in the tropics than in the more thoroughly studied temperate regions of Earth. GoAmazon2014/5, a cooperative project of Brazil, Germany, and the United States, employed an unparalleled suite of measurements at nine ground sites and on board two aircraft to investigate the flow of background air into Manaus, the emissions into the air over the city, and the advection of the pollution downwind of the city. Herein, to visualize this train of processes and its effects, observations aboard a low-flying aircraft are presented. Comparative measurements within and adjacent to the plume followed the emissions of biogenic volatile organic carbon compounds (BVOCs) from the tropical forest, their transformations by the atmospheric oxidant cycle, alterations of this cycle by the influence of the pollutants, transformations of the chemical products into aerosol particles, the relationship of these particles to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity, and the differences in cloud properties and rainfall for background compared to polluted conditions. The observations of the GoAmazon2014/5 experiment illustrate how the hydrologic cycle, radiation balance, and carbon recycling may be affected by present-day as well as future economic development and pollution over the Amazonian tropical forest.

Contact Kathy Bravo kbravo@gps.caltech.edu at 626-395-8732
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