Air Pollution and Climate

The Focus Group on Air Pollution and Climate involves Hans Fischer Senior Fellow Prof. Frank Keutsch (Harvard University), and his host Prof. Jia Chen (TUM).

Human activities are directly related to the rise and environmental impacts of the Anthropocene which has resulted in fundamental changes in the composition of Earth’s atmosphere. These changes include increased concentrations of both long-lived greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and short-lived pollutants such as tropospheric ozone and particulate matter. The resulting impacts on humans and the environment span large spatial and temporal scales, from local urban air pollution to global climate.

In this Focus group, we investigate drivers of urban air pollution using novel sensors and modeling approaches in order to improve the understanding of the most effective mitigation strategies for tropospheric pollution such as ozone and particulate matter within the context of human health and climate. In addition, we develop novel measurements and modeling methods to detect GHG sources and sinks as well as solutions for mitigating climate change including approaches such as solar geoengineering which is not a solution but potentially could reduce impacts of climate change, albeit with currently highly uncertain risks.

The ultimate objective of the work is to enable policy makers to evaluate different approaches for improving air quality and combating climate change.