UI Professor Greg Carmichael receives prestigious environmental award

University of Iowa professor and co-director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, Greg Carmichael, earned the highest environmental award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers – the 2012 Lawrence K. Cecil Award.

As part of the award, Carmichael will receive a plaque and $2,500.

Iowa Environmental Focus has covered Carmichael’s research numerous times:

1)   Click here to learn about Carmichael’s research on sugarcane ethanol’s environmental imact.

2)   Click here to watch a video where Carmichael explains black carbon’s impact on climate change.

3)   Click here to read about the grant Carmichael received last year to continue researching black carbon.

CGRER members’ research creates clearer picture of sugarcane ethanol’s environmental impact

Photo by Sweeter Alternative, Flickr

New research shows that sugarcane ethanol production creates more pollution than previously estimated. University of Iowa faculty members, and Center For Global and Regional Environmental Research members, Greg Carmichael and Scott Spak teamed with researchers from the University of California and Chile’s Universidad Andrés Bello for this study.

Prior to this research, sugarcane ethanol was considered a more environmentally friendly fuel alternative to corn ethanol. The new data raises questions to that assessment.

Scott Spak explained the importance of these findings:

 . . . the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers sugarcane ethanol an ‘advanced biofuel’ with fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional biofuels like corn ethanol. These new findings help us refine those estimates and move closer to making more informed comparisons between different fuel sources, and ultimately make better decisions about how to grow and use biofuels.

 Read the full University of Iowa news release on the study here.

UI faculty members receive grant to study black carbon

Photo by bcmacsac1, Flickr

CGRER members Greg Carmichael and Scott Spak received a three-year $900, 000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study the pollution and climate effects of black carbon aerosol. Specifically, the project looks to determine how black carbon effects human health and climate in California, India and the Arctic.

It is believed that understanding and controlling black carbon could slow the rate of global warming. Continue reading

CGRER researchers develop air pollution prediction system for Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile. Photo via http://www.weltreis.ch

Quicker predictions will help officials protect public health

In the Southern Hemisphere, the months of April, May and June mark the transition from summer to winter and usher in masses of stagnant air that often give rise to urban air pollution.

That’s why a study conducted by CGRER researchers — and published in the May issue of the journal Atmospheric Environment — that describes a system to predict periods of high air pollution is attracting attention in Santiago, Chile, a city of nearly 6 million people. Continue reading

Report: To combat climate change, tackle black carbon

Black carbon: it’s dirty, unhealthy and addressing it, according to a new report, may be the most effective way to confront climate change.

Greg Carmichael, a University of Iowa professor and co-founder of CGRER, is a lead author of that report – a United Nations Environmental Programme study that outlines the dangers of black carbon soot and suggests how decision makers can address this form of particular air pollutant, which is second only to carbon dioxide as a catalyst of climate change.

Following through on the recommendations could cut future global warming in half, the report found, reducing the projected temperature rise by .5 degrees Celsius. Continue reading

Carmichael talks climate change with star-studded crowd in Beijing

Greg Carmichael

Last week CGRER co-director Greg Carmichael took another important jaunt to China.

He was among 300 scholars to attend the Beijing Forum, and he spoke in a session titled Addressing Global Environmental Challenges: Policies and Actions.

Carmichael discussed the need to simultaneously treat air pollution and climate change – a quick and cost-effective strategy. The session launched heated debate over the scientific certainty of climate change, its economic cost and affect on health and how best to address the problem, he said.

More info from chinadaily.com

Nearly 300 leading economists and scholars from around the world are in
Beijing for an annual forum, which opened on Friday with the theme of
“the harmony of civilizations and prosperity for all – commitments and
responsibilities for a better world”.

The three-day international academic event, the Beijing Forum, also
attracted a number of influential speakers, including former British
prime minister Tony Blair, former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, and
former deputy assistant secretary of state of the US, Michael Ussery.

“The annual forum has been promoting international exchanges in higher
education and exchanges between different civilizations,” Vice-Minister
of Education Hao Ping said at the opening ceremony.

“It is dedicated to providing a forum for communicating on an equal
footing between cultures.”

Iowa’s Carmichael addresses Chinese dignitaries, world representatives on chemical weather

Greg Carmicheal

On May 9, Greg Carmichael spoke in China to help clear the air – or at least improve its quality around the globe.

The CGRER co-director and University of Iowa professor of chemical and biochemical engineering addressed a slew of international leaders – including China’s vice premier and meteorological heads from over 30 countries – as the key speaker at the Honor Day for the MeteoWorld Pavilion at Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

The only non-governmental attendee, Carmichael spoke on “Chemical Weather — A Challenge and an Opportunity for Service Delivery and Risk Reduction.”

Continue reading