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Fifth National Climate Assessment - Read the Report

Tracking Aerosol Convection interactions ExpeRiment – Air Quality

TRACER–AQ research flights were conducted aboard a Gulfstream V research aircraft flying out of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, as part of a field campaign that collected high-resolution data using platforms on land, over water, and in the air. Credits: Laura Judd/NASA

In September 2021, NASA conducted the TRACER–AQ field campaign in the Houston metropolitan area to measure air quality, ozone, and meteorological factors that influence air pollution in the region. This effort was conducted in partnership with the DOE-led TRACER campaign, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and several academic institutions, as part of a set of interagency field activities in the region in 2021 and 2022 studying interrelated questions of air quality, deep convective clouds (which often produce thunder and rain), and how aerosols influence the physics of deep convection. Results will be used to evaluate air quality models and satellite observations and understand the intersections between air quality and socioeconomic factors in the area. The group aims to build partnerships and collaborations to support the use of these observations by air quality managers and the public health sector.