The 2010 California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) field study
The California Research at the Nexus of Air Quality and Climate Change (CalNex) field study was conducted throughout California in May, June, and July of 2010. The study was organized to address issues simultaneously relevant to atmospheric pollution and climate change, including (1) emission inventory assessment, (2) atmospheric transport and dispersion, (3) atmospheric chemical processing, and (4) cloud-aerosol interactions and aerosol radiative effects. Measurements from networks of ground sites, a research ship, tall towers, balloon-borne ozonesondes, multiple aircraft, and satellites provided in situ and remotely sensed data on trace pollutant and greenhouse gas concentrations, aerosol chemical composition and microphysical properties, cloud microphysics, and meteorological parameters. This overview report provides operational information for the variety of sites, platforms, and measurements, their joint deployment strategy, and summarizes findings that have resulted from the collaborative analyses of the CalNex field study. Climate-relevant findings from CalNex include that leakage from natural gas infrastructure may account for the excess of observed methane over emission estimates in Los Angeles. Air-quality relevant findings include the following: mobile fleet VOC significantly declines, and NOx emissions continue to have an impact on ozone in the Los Angeles basin; the relative contributions of diesel and gasoline emission to secondary organic aerosol are not fully understood; and nighttime NO3 chemistry contributes significantly to secondary organic aerosol mass in the San Joaquin Valley. Findings simultaneously relevant to climate and air quality include the following: marine vessel emissions changes due to fuel sulfur and speed controls result in a net warming effect but have substantial positive impacts on local air quality.