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by Noelle Heinze
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “Scientists have identified that our health, agriculture, water resources, forests, wildlife, and coastal areas are vulnerable to the changes that global warming may bring. There is certainty that human activities are rapidly adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, and these gases tend to warm our planet. Global warming poses real risks.”

To find out how global warming may be changing burning events, such as California wildfires, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Director of the UH Institute for Multi-dimensional Air Quality Studies (IMAQS) Daewon Byun is collaborating on an EPA-funded project with researchers from Harvard University.

Byun is developing an air quality prediction system for studying the impact of forest fires on regional air quality in the United States.

“We are interested in how fire conditions from climate change will affect concentrations of harmful ground-level ozone and concentrations of particulate matter, which is composed of tiny particles of smoke or aerosol,” says Byun. “We also want to identify the areas in the U.S. that will receive the most impact.”

In addition to this ongoing study, Byun and UH Atmospheric Scientists Barry Lefer and Bernhard Rappenglueck are interested in how hotter temperatures brought by global warming may affect concentrations of ozone in Houston.

A proposal is pending for this project, which will capitalize on the sophisticated measuring and modeling capabilities of IMAQS scientists.

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© University of Houston 2006