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About Matthew E. Wise

Current research: Phase transitions and light absorbing properties of atmospheric aerosol particles
The enhanced greenhouse effect is a phenomenon resulting from an increase in the abundance of carbon dioxide and other infrared radiation absorbing gases in the atmosphere. This phenomenon is widely considered to be our most important global environmental problem. Currently the magnitude of future temperature increases is not known with high certainty. However, if atmospheric models are correct, a significant warming of the atmosphere will occur in the near future. The radiative forcing due to long-lived greenhouse gases is now well established. However, the level of scientific understanding of the radiative forcing due to clouds and atmospheric aerosol particles remains low (IPCC, 2013). It is crucial to understand the microphysical properties of clouds and aerosol particles if their influence is to be constrained in climate models.
The influence of aerosol particles on climate is related to their chemical composition, morphology and size. All of these properties are affected by their phase (e.g., solid and liquid) under typical atmospheric conditions. One area of research in the Wise lab utilizes a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) to study phase transitions in atmospherically relevant aerosol particles. For example, under tropospheric conditions, organic aerosol particles can exist in a glassy phase. Recent laboratory studies have shown glassy particles to be an effective heterogeneous ice nucleus (Murray et al., 2010). Therefore, it is important to study the aqueous to glassy phase transition in organic aerosol particles because they may be important for cirrus cloud nucleation.
A second area of research in the Wise lab utilizes a variety of analytical instrumentation to probe the relationship between the chemical composition of secondary organic aerosol particles (SOA) and their ability to absorb ultraviolet and visible (UV/Vis) radiation. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and a UV/Vis spectrometer equipped with a liquid waveguide capillary flow cell are used to determine SOA composition and their light absorbing properties respectively. These experiments are carried out in conjunction with Dr. John Shilling’s lab at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, WA and are funded by the PNNL’s Visiting Faculty Program (VFP). The end result of the proposed studies is the inclusion of SOA optical properties into climate models developed at PNNL. This knowledge will help to improve climate models, which currently do not include the effect of SOA.
IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp.


Present Associate Professor of Chemistry, Concordia University - Portland

Curriculum Vitae

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