Fangqun Yu

Climate expert examines global aerosol modeling, formation and growth of atmospheric particles

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Fangqun Yu

Senior Research Associate and Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Atmospheric Sciences Research Center

Atmospheric aerosols and global climate impact; air quality; radiation; atmospheric chemistry

Campus phone: 437-8767
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Yu leads a group of researchers who study aerosols in the atmosphere and their effects on chemical processes impacting air quality, radiation, atmospheric chemistry, and the Earth’s climate. The work will be a critical step forward in predicting future climate patterns on Earth. The research, supported by a $500,000 grant from NASA Earth Science, investigates aerosol-radiation-chemistry-climate, an interactive system currently not well understood. The research group has already developed a state-of-the-art advanced particle microphysics (APM) model that enables one to predict key aerosol properties (size, composition, mixing state, etc.) important for their environmental and climatic impacts.

How aerosol particle sizes affect UV actinic fluxes, tropospheric oxidation capacity, and heterogeneous chemistry is of great interest to the strategic research objectives of NASA’s Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program, whose previous funding support aided Yu’s development of the APM model.

Actinic flux deals with the quantity of light available to molecules at a particular point in the atmosphere and which, on absorption, drives photochemical processes in the atmosphere. Tropospheric oxidation capacity is an important indicator of the cleansing capacity of the atmosphere, including the relative lifetime of important greenhouse gases.

Yu received his bachelor's degree from Peking University in China, a master's degree in atmospheric physics from the Institute of Atmospheric Physics in China, and both a master's degree and Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences from UCLA. He has served as a researcher with the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center since 2000, and is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.