Innovative Research Program
The Innovative Research Program is designed to stimulate a creative research environment within CIRES and to encourage synergy between disciplines and research colleagues. The intent is to support small research efforts that can quickly provide concept viability or rule out further consideration. The program encourages novel, unconventional or fundamental research that might otherwise be difficult to fund. Funded projects are inventive, sometimes opportunistic, and do not necessarily have an immediate practical application or guarantee of success. This program supports pilot or exploratory studies, which may provide rapid results. Activities are not tightly restricted and can range from instrument development, lab testing, and field observations to model development, evaluation, and application.
The 2022 IRP competition opens February 14, 2022. Applications will be due March 28, 2022. Submit your proposal online. You must have a CIRES login and password to access the online application.
January 2022 update: CIRES is instituting a "Rapid IRP" to provide funds for research activities that are time-sensitive and urgent. Potential CIRES proposers should see the email or reach out to the Associate Director for Science for more information.
2022-02-14 to 2022-03-28
Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar
Longer term aging of organic aerosol: photobleaching and chemical transformations
"Organic aerosol particles can influence the climate through either directly absorbing or scattering solar radiation or by acting as nuclei for cloud droplets. Some aerosol particles are dominantly scattering while others contain organic molecules that can absorb solar radiation in the visible region, termed brown carbon (BrC). We still have large uncertainties in the magnitude of these climate effects and a better understanding of the removal rates for the particle mass and absorption properties (i.e. color) is needed. One removal process is photolysis, where absorption of solar radiation leads to fragmentation of the organic molecules and the loss of particle mass and/or color. However, the photolysis rates and the overall extent of mass that can be removed via direct photolysis in laboratory experiments does not match what is used in models and often differs from ambient measurements. In this talk, I will combine results from work in our lab looking at photolysis of biogenic secondary organic aerosol as well as BrC from biomass burning organic aerosol to evaluate gaps in our ability to predict the observed ambient removal rates. By probing complex mixtures from recent biomass burning experiments (e.g. FIREX samples), I will demonstrate that our current measured rates in the laboratory are overestimated and that a slower photolysis rate, as well as a potential gas-phase oxidation rate, should be used to predict the role of photolysis on organic aerosol lifetime in the atmosphere."