Tag Archives: Atmospheric

Lynn Mazzoleni Leads a Team to Bring a New High-Resolution Spectrometer to Campus

PicoAir is not just air. It’s not just a sterile, preset mix of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and other molecules. As an atmospheric chemist, Lynn Mazzoleni knows air is dynamic and full of soot, sulfates, dust and other particles. Now, with a new piece of equipment, she can analyze complex aerosol samples and how their chemistry affects cloud formation.

State-of-the-Art Science: Peatlands to Pharmaceuticals
Mazzoleni is an associate professor of chemistry at Michigan Technological University and a recent Fulbright Scholar awardee. She is also the lead researcher on a team that is bringing a high-resolution mass spectrometer to campus through a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The instrument is an analytical chemistry tool that identifies the type and amount of chemicals in a mixture.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.


Michigan Tech Team Helps Clarify the Impacts of Black Carbon in Nature Communications Study

Black CarbonDust specks are touted for their insignificance. But black carbon particles have global impact. Michigan Technological University researchers collaborated with a team from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and several other universities to shed light on the complex way black carbon and solar radiation interact to increase warming in the atmosphere. The research came out this week in Nature Communications.

Michigan Tech’s team focused on the microscopy work, which is also important for other research done in the lab and in the field, from thecloud chamber on campus to atmospheric monitoring on Pico Mountain in the Azores. Understanding the impacts of atmospheric particles will help refine climate change models, weather predictions and provide better information for making policies on black carbon and other short-lived pollutants.

Black Carbon

Black carbon is basically soot. The particles—similar in size to corn starch dust—make their way into the air from cooking fires, automobiles, industrial plants, wildfires and other kinds of burning. And rarely is black carbon just black carbon; the soot is often mixed with other atmospheric particles. Claudio Mazzoleni, an associate professor of physics at Michigan Tech, and his collaborators have to separate out the black carbon from everything else by heating up the particles.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.


New HOLODEC Study in Science on Using Holography to Better Understand Clouds

HOLODEC StudyOctober 1, 2015—
Watching the clouds go by, swirls of white puff up and melt away. The changes mirror mixing within the clouds as drier air mingles with water-saturated air. New research led by Michigan Technological University with support from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz University, analyzes this mixing with holographic imaging and an airborne laboratory.

This new way of seeing clouds—and the unusual mixing behavior observed in them—is the focus of the team’s study, published in Science this week. Sharp boundaries form as dry air completely evaporates some water drops and leaves others unscathed. The findings will influence models that help predict weather and climate change.

Clouds
Raymond Shaw, a professor of physics at Michigan Tech, looks at the smallest part of clouds: droplets. To understand groups of droplets, Shaw and the NCAR team flew airplanes through fluffy, cottonball cumulus clouds in Wyoming and Colorado. Aboard the plane, the team took detailed 3-D images with an instrument called the Holographic Detector for Clouds (HOLODEC—yes, like Star Trek’s “holodeck”). These particular clouds were only made up of liquid water, and the size of those drops is a key part of cloud formation and mixing.

Read more and watch the video at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.

What’s At The Edge Of A Cloud?

Scientists have just made a breakthrough in understanding how clouds interact with the surrounding air by studying some of the most boring clouds you can imagine in unprecedented detail.

“If you ask a child to draw a cloud they would draw a white puffy cloud floating in the air all by itself — and that’s the kind of cloud we were looking at,” says Raymond Shaw, an atmospheric scientist at Michigan Technological University.

Read more and listen to the “All Things Considered” podcast at NPR News, Minnesota Public Radio, by Nell Greenfieldboyce.



REF for Cantrell

The Vice President for Research Office announces the Research Execellence Fund Awards. Thanks to the volunteer review committees, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

Will Cantrell, EPSSI/Physics, received an Infrastructure Enhancement Grant for “Acquisition of a Cloud Condensation Nucleus Counter.”

Read more at Tech Today, by Natasha Chopp.


Swarup China accepted to participate in ACCESS XIII

Dr. Swarup China former graduate student in the Atmospheric Sciences program at MTU, has been accepted to participate in ACCESS XIII, to be convened at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) (July 31 – August 2, 2015), and to attend the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) in Atmospheric Chemistry. Participation to ACCESS is highly competitive and it is an honor to be accepted.

Information about the conference can be found here.


Recent Atmospheric Sciences Grads Heading to US National Laboratories

Two recent Atmospheric Sciences grads, Dr. Swarup China and Dr. Jianqiu Zheng, have landed prestigious postdoctoral positions at two US National Laboratories. Swarup’s doctoral work was advised by Prof. Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics) and Jianqiu’s doctoral work was advised by Prof. Paul Doskey (CEE). Congratulations to Swarup and Jianqiu on this recognition of their hard work and important research contributions.
Swarup will be joining the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate in the group of Dr. Alex Laskin. He will be studying fundamentals of physical chemistry of atmospheric particles and their chemical aging through multi-phase atmospheric chemistry.

Jianqiu will be joining the Biosciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate with the Microbial Ecology and Physiology group headed by Dr. David E. Graham. She will be part of the biogeochemistry team that is working on the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments project (NGEE Arctic). A goal of NGEE Arctic is to reduce uncertainties in estimates of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions from high-latitude ecosystems by advancing understanding of the environmental drivers of biogeochemical processes across molecular to landscape scales.


Up in the Air in Research Magazine 2015

Pico MountainAtop a volcanic peak deep in the eastern Atlantic, Tech researchers sample and study aerosol particles—and determine how they may affect Earth’s climate.

The new collaboration features Tech faculty Lynn Mazzoleni (chemistry), Claudio Mazzoleni (physics), Noel Urban (CEE), Judith Perlinger (CEE), and Chris Owen (MTRI). Also involved are collaborators from the University of Colorado and the University of Illinois, as well as Universidade dos Açores and the Instituto de Meteorologia in Portugal.

Read more at Michigan Tech Research Magazine 2015, by Kevin Hodur.


Cloud Control in Research Magazine 2015

Cloud ChamberAtmospheric science researchers at Michigan Tech no longer have to cross their fingers for cooperative weather—the University’s innovative new cloud chamber allows them to head into the lab and make their own.

“You’re in an aircraft going a hundred meters a second, and it’s impossible to replicate what you’ve just seen,” says fellow physicist Will Cantrell. “You know the old Taoist saying, you never step in the river twice? You never fly through the same cloud twice either.”

Read more at Michigan Tech Research Magazine, by Marcia Goodrich.