Two new papers from Can Ataca’s research group at UMBC set the stage for further advances in solar power and other renewable energy technologies. Graduate students Daniel Wines and Gracie Chaney led the projects. Ataca’s group’s work is theory- and computation-based, but these projects took advantage of collaboration with experimental researchers. As work in this field develops from theory to implementation in devices, “There’s a need for both kinds of research at every stage,” Wines says.
The partnership will center on addressing challenges to the aquaculture industry that, once overcome, will make aquaculture more efficient and sustainable, and expand it to more seafood species. “There is an urgent need to promote agriculture in a sustainable way in the U.S.,” said Russell Hill, “and we hope to contribute as much as possible to that effort.”
“These results are important because spatial variation of dust around the globe can help determine whether dust is cooling or warming the planet overall,” which is still unknown, Qianqian Song says. Using new techniques to identify dust among all atmospheric particles opens up new avenues for research in this area.
A metric that climate scientists rely on, called NDVI, has limitations that may be causing them to misinterpret their results. Fred Huemmrich’s new paper suggests “that there very well may be more ecological change going on at high latitudes than we are perceiving, if we’re leaning on NDVI as the metric we’re using to detect these changes.”
NASA has announced a major award of $72 million over three years for the new Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research (GESTAR) II center. UMBC serves as the lead for a national consortium and will receive over $38 million. Morgan State University serves as the primary partner. The GESTAR II consortium will support over 120 researchers, creating extensive opportunities for breakthroughs in earth and atmospheric science research.
Emissions from household products are on the rise compared to emissions from combustion engines, but their effect on air quality is poorly understood. “So, if we want to have a better understanding of air quality, now and as climate continues to change, we really need to be able to understand how the chemistry changes with this new class of emissions,” says Reem Hannun. “It’s a new, interesting dynamic.”
Tens of millions of people live in areas that are at risk for flooding due to climate change, sea level rise, and melting of glaciers. UMBC’s Maryam Rahnemoonfar and a team of researchers are using data science, machine learning, and AI to analyze enormous volumes of climate data, and Arctic and Antarctic observations, in ways that could help populations prepare for and respond to these risks.
The new funding will “enable closer connections between NASA and universities, which simplifies sharing ideas and performing joint research and technology development,” Jan Merka says. He emphasizes, “Another significant benefit is connecting students with research opportunities and mentors in heliophysics.”