Advancing Knowledge of Chemistry and Climate Change Impacts

“This announcement is happening at the perfect time – right in the middle of UC San Diego’s strategic planning process.  This shows the world that we are indeed a campus with multiple pillars of excellence.”

– Chancellor Khosla

UC San Diego will receive a $20 million award over the next five years from the National Science Foundation for an innovative program of chemistry research and education on aerosols.  The funding will support scientists in the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment (CAICE).  The announcement was made today at a news conference at Birch Aquarium at Scripps with Chancellor Khosla, Distinguished Chair in Atmospheric Chemistry and CAICE Director Kim Prather, and Mario Molina, Distinguished Professor and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.

Aerosols are natural and human-produced particles that are one of the most complex variables in climate.  CAICE is providing a deeper understanding of regional drought and rainfall patterns, as well as changes in global climate.  The center’s research could also have public health applications, providing fundamental knowledge on the myriad chemicals in particles that can affect respiratory health.  Scientists at the center include researchers and professors from UC San Diego’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and investigators at other institutions.

Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows were on hand to explain how clouds form and what causes smog.

After the news conference, Professors Prather and Molina used the studio in University Communications and Public Affairs for video conferencing so they could participate in a panel discussion at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Indianapolis.