Environmental Engineering Seminar - Air Pollution and Climate Change

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

"All about atmospheric aerosols: from air pollution to climate change"

Dr. Dan Westervelt
Associate Research Scientist, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University  

Abstract: Atmospheric aerosols (or particulate matter) contribute to air pollution, which has adverse human health effects. In recent years, millions of deaths worldwide have been attributed to exposure to particulate matter. Aerosols also exert a cooling effect on global climate, opposing the warming of greenhouse gases. In this talk I will highlight my work at the nexus of air quality and climate change and their two-way interactions. In particular, I will highlight global atmospheric modeling efforts to quantify the impacts of climate change on future particulate matter levels, and the unintended climatic consequences of expected future aerosol reductions. I will also discuss new research on air quality in developing countries such as China and India. Finally, I will show results on the effect of global and regional biomass burning on particulate matter levels.

Dr. Dan Westervelt is an Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. He is also an adjunct scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. Dr. Westervelt received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in environmental engineering in May 2013, where his thesis work focused on the impact of aerosols on climate and air quality. After graduating, Dr. Westervelt worked as a Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy postdoctoral research scientist at Princeton University before coming to Lamont-Doherty in 2015.