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NCAR GV taking off from Guam airport, 19 Jan 2014, for Research Flight 4 of the NSF CONTRAST field campaign

Our research focuses on quantification of the effect of human activity on atmospheric composition.

We develop computer models that are compared to observations obtained from orbital, air-borne, balloon, and ground based platforms.  Our focus is on climate change, air quality, the carbon cycle, and stratospheric ozone depletion and recovery.  Our research is motivated by the need to quantify how atmospheric composition is being altered by emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants that drive global warming and degrade the environment.

Our group has participated in many atmospheric chemistry field campaigns, including the NSF-sponsored CONTRAST campaign based in Guam during winter 2014.  We are members of the NASA Aura Science Team, the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Science Team, and we have been active investigators of data collected over Maryland during the NASA DISCOVER-AQ mission as well as on-going measurements of greenhouse gases and air quality obtained over the mid-Atlantic that is part of FLAGG-MD  and  RAMMPP projects.  Research on FLAGG-MD and RAMMPP is conducted in close collaboration with colleagues such as Russ Dickerson, Tim Canty, and Xinrong Ren.

In the field for CONTRAST; the NCAR GV is visible in the reflection of the shades.

We have also developed an empirical model of global climate.   This model tracks the influence on global temperature of GHGs, volcanic and industrial aerosol particles, the 11 year variation in total solar irradiance, the temporary heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere due to phenomena known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, as well as long-term export of atmospheric heat to the world’s oceans (Canty et al., ACP, 2013). Recently, we used this model to show that if all of the pledges of the Paris Climate Agreement are followed, and if the carbon intensity of the world’s economies can be improved such that at least 50% of global energy can be obtained from renewables by year 2060, climate catastrophe will likely be averted (Salawitch et al., Springer Climate, 2017). We are now assessing the impact on global warming forecasts of the recent U.S. withdrawal from this agreement.

Global climate, past 500 million years. Notice the remarkable correlation of the global mean surface temperature anomaly, ΔT, and atmospheric CO2 preserved in the climate record.  Can learn more at http://www.parisbeaconofhope.org


We offer exciting research opportunities that allow students to participate in satellite missions and field campaigns as well interact with scientists at national laboratories such as NASA and NOAA.  If interested in further information, please explore our page for prospective students page.

Contact Info:

Phone: 301 - 405 - 5396

Email: rjs@atmos.umd.edu

Mailing Address: 4254 Stadium Drive, College Park, MD 20742

Click below to see:

Twitter Page (just getting started; looking for followers)

Completed PhDs

Salawitch Biographical Info, this website

Salawitch Biographical Info, Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry website

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science                                           College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry                                                                                  The University of Maryland Newsdesk

Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center                                                                                             The University of Maryland

This page last updated on Monday, 10 July 2017