ARL Weekly News – June 4, 2021

Recent Events


Summer Interns: Alanna Goodell.

Alanna Goodell, a rising senior majoring in Environmental Engineering from Northern Arizona University, started to work at ARL as an intern through the NOAA Lapenta Internship Program. She is working with Winston Luke and Xinrong Ren on a research project to characterize emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived air pollutants from New York City using the aircraft and surface observations collected in 2020.

Alanna will investigate the enhancement ratios among these chemicals and compare them to the same ratios in a global emission inventory called Emission Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) to evaluate the EDGAR inventory. She will also use the ratios of some chemicals, such as methane, carbon monoxide, and black carbon, to carbon dioxide and the well-known carbon dioxide emissions to calculate emissions of these chemicals from the New York City metropolitan area. This research will provide decision makers with policy-relevant science to improve quantification and mitigation of anthropogenic GHG emissions from urban areas.

Marine VOC Emissions Study Begun

In collaboration with colleagues from Maryland Department of Environment, University of Maryland, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and Loyola University, Xinrong Ren is involved in a pilot research project, entitled “Marine Atmospheric Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Emission Study.” The purpose of this study is to characterize the potential influence of water quality on air quality in an air-water exchange over the northern Chesapeake Bay by establishing baseline measurements of alkene and alkane VOCs, augmented by collocated measurements of water physical and biological characteristic. One of the specific objectives is to establish a primary connection to a water source for the most reactive VOCs and to assess the ultimate impact on air photochemistry from the water emissions. ARL provided some instruments to be deployed on a boat to measure ozone and reactive nitrogen species in the Bay.

HYSPLIT Informs Illinois Response on Railcar Incident

A railcar incident in Illinois resulted in a stay-at-home order for residents of Wood River, IL on June 3, 2021. A Norfolk Southern stationary rail car containing spent sulfuric acid was over pressurized and vented for several days. Response teams sprayed a water curtain over the cars and into the air to keep the area safe. The Wood River Police Department advised residents in the affected area needed to shelter in place, turn off their HVAC and close their windows. The shelter-in-place order was lifted at 6 a.m. Friday, but adjacent roads were closed to due to a vapor cloud from the vented rail cars.

News Link KMOV

News Link: KSDK