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UW Today
Southeast U.S. field work measures mercury, smog
July 9, 2013

Dozens of atmospheric scientists, including three University of Washington faculty members, are taking part in what’s being described as one of the largest atmospheric field campaigns in decades.

The six-week Southeast Atmosphere Study, through July 15, includes scientists from more than 30 different institutions. Together they are studying how pollutants combine with natural vegetation emissions to affect climate and air quality in the Southeastern U.S.

Despite some thunderstorms the campaign is going well, said Dan Jaffe, an atmospheric sciences professor at UW Bothell. He is coordinating air measurements aboard a C-130 military transport plane operated by the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

“We’re getting some very exciting data,” Jaffe said.

Flights out of Smyrna, Tenn., have gone as far as eastern Texas and central Pennsylvania, and above the coal-fired power plants of the Ohio River Valley. This week flights will go to the Atlantic coast and down to the Gulf of Mexico.