A Day and Night Difference: Molecular Composition of Aerosols Differs from Day to Night

Aerosols particles in the atmosphere are an important factor in the Earth’s climate, but researchers lack information on these aerosols’ molecular composition, especially for aerosols during the day and night above agricultural fields. In this research, scientists examined secondary organic aerosols over agricultural fields in the Southern Great Plains in Oklahoma. They found that the aerosols’ composition and structure differ from day to night and that some aerosols are ultimately from urban sources.

Scientists Map Changes in Soot Particles Emitted from Wildfires

We need a better understanding of the particles emitted by wildfires, including how they evolve, so we can improve our predictions of their impacts on climate, climate change, and human health. Atmospheric scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborating institutions recently published a study that suggests the global climate models aren’t getting the full picture. Their data could change that.

Ogo Enekwizu Brings Soot-seeded Clouds into the Laboratory

Tiny particles in Earth’s atmosphere can have a big impact on climate. But understanding exactly how these aerosol particles form cloud drops and affect the absorption and scattering of sunlight is one of the biggest sources of uncertainty in climate models. Ogochukwu (Ogo) Enekwizu is trying to tame that complexity by creating soot-seeded aerosol particles in a lab.

Western Wildfires Spark Stronger Storms in Downwind States

A new study shows for the first time that wildfires burning in West Coast states can strengthen storms in downwind states. Heat and tiny airborne particles produced by western wildfires distantly intensify severe storms, in some cases bringing baseball-sized hail, heavier rain and flash flooding to states like Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and the Dakotas.

Flushing a Public Toilet? Don’t Linger, Because Aerosolized Droplets Do

Because COVID-19 has been detected in urine and stool samples, public restrooms can be cause for concern. Researchers measured droplets generated from flushing a toilet and a urinal in a public restroom and found a substantial increase in the measured aerosol levels in the ambient environment with the total number of droplets generated in each flushing test ranging up to the tens of thousands. Due to their small size, these droplets can remain suspended for a long time.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risks a Year After Lockdowns Began

New Brunswick, N.J. (March 11, 2021) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of becoming infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus via shopping, groceries, surfaces and airborne/aerosol transmission after a year of lockdowns due to the global pandemic.…

Four Rutgers Professors Named AAAS Fellows

Four Rutgers professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor given to AAAS members by their peers. They join 485 other new AAAS fellows as a result of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. A virtual induction ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 13, 2021.

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Coronavirus Risk from Surfaces, Groceries, Food, Airborne Exposures

New Brunswick, N.J. (Oct. 26, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Donald W. Schaffner is available for interviews on the likelihood of getting infected by the SARS-CoV-2  coronavirus via surfaces, groceries, eating food and airborne/aerosol transmission. “Current evidence still indicates that risk from surfaces remains…

Musical instruments don’t spread aerosols as far as you might think

A new study by University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering researchers has found that wind instruments typically do not spread aerosols farther than one foot. The researchers suggest that mitigation strategies including social distancing, putting masks over instruments, and using portable filters can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 on musical stages.

Face Shield or Face Mask to Stop the Spread of COVID-19?

If CDC guidelines aren’t enough to convince you that face shields alone shouldn’t be used to stop the spread of COVID-19, then maybe a new visualization study will. Researchers simulated coughing and sneezing from a mannequin’s mouth using a laser light to visualize droplets expelled. They tested a plastic face shield and found that they block the initial forward motion of the exhaled jet, however, aerosolized droplets are able to move around the visor with relative ease.

Environmental engineers study fabrics, materials for face covers

ROLLA, Mo. – The day before the federal government issued new recommendations that Americans wear cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, a researcher at Missouri University of Science and Technology decided to test a few common household materials – pillowcases, scarves, furnace filters – “out of curiosity.