Category Archives: Matt Ninneman

Matt Ninneman and Dan Jaffe publish 2 new papers on ozone

“The impact of wildfire smoke on ozone production in an urban area: Insights from field observations and photochemical box modeling”

map of California showing Bakersfield site and fire locations

Map of California showing the locations of the Bakersfield Municipal Airport (BMA) site and the Ferguson, Natchez, Carr, Mendocino Complex, Donnell, and Hirz fires.

In this recently published paper, postdoctoral research associate Matt Ninneman and Dan Jaffe examined the effect of wildfire smoke on ozone (O3) production at an urban site in Bakersfield, CA. They used data from smoky and non-smoky weekdays in summer 2018. During this period, there were several active wildfires in northern California. The authors utilized a photochemical box model to analyze the data. The box model simulations indicate that maximum O3 production rates were about two times faster on smoky weekdays compared to non-smoky weekdays. Model sensitivity tests for smoky weekdays showed that (1) O3 was sensitive to both oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and (2) aldehydes significantly affected O3 formation. Their results suggest that “a combination of anthropogenic VOC and NOx reductions will be the most effective strategy for decreasing O3 on typical non-smoky days.” However, only reductions in NOx are expected to have a significant impact on lowering O3 concentrations on typical smoky days, since VOC levels in smoke plumes are high.

Read the full paper in Atmospheric Environment

“Observed relationship between ozone and temperature for urban nonattainment areas in the United States”

In a second recently published paper, Matt Ninneman and Dan Jaffe investigated the observed relationship between ground-level ozone (O3) and temperature from 1995 to 2020 at 20 U.S. cities that violate regulatory requirements for ground-level O3. They found that the median slope of the ground-level O3 versus temperature relationship declined in all regions, and the correlation between ground-level O3 and temperature weakened over time in the eastern and midwestern U.S. In the western U.S., ground-level O3 has declined more slowly and the correlation between ground-level O3 and temperature has changed negligibly due to the combined influence of high background O3 and wildfire smoke. This suggests that meeting regulatory requirements for ground-level O3 in the western U.S. will be more challenging than in other parts of the country.

Read the full paper in Atmosphere

Welcome, Matt Ninneman, new post-doc!

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our research is continuing. And now our work will be strengthened by the addition of post-doctoral scholar Matt Ninneman!

Matt comes to us from the State University of New York at Albany (NY), where he received his PhD in Atmospheric Science. His dissertation was titled “Ozone and reactive oxidized nitrogen chemistry in the northeast U.S.” Matt’s research experience in ozone photochemistry and air quality and box modeling will be a valuable addition to our research. In his position at UW Bothell, Matt will be studying the effect of wildfire smoke on ozone production in urban areas using the Framework for 0-D Atmospheric Modeling (F0AM) box model and assisting with research at Mount Bachelor Observatory.

Matt is originally from Charlotte, NC, and received his BS in meteorology from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. He is new to the West Coast and looks forward to exploring the many bike trails in the Seattle/Bothell area. His other hobbies include running, playing basketball, reading, and closely following the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves in baseball and the Charlotte Hornets in basketball.

Even though we are unable to welcome Matt in person, we are delighted to have him join our group and look forward to future non-Zoom get-togethers. Welcome, Matt!