The NYAAQ Study is a combination of specific projects around the New York City and Newark Metro Area with funding from Federal and State Agencies. 

Urban systems include buildings, vehicles and trees, all of which contribute to the atmospheric composition of cities

Constraining anthropogenic carbon emissions

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the dominant carbon emission from man-made sources in urban areas, where it is emitted from combustion sources such as vehicles, power plants, generators, concrete plants, etc. CO2 is also is taken up by trees and respired from soils in the city. After CO2, methane (CH4) is the second most abundant greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential of over 25 times that of CO2 over 100 years. Urban sources of methane include leaks from natural gas lines, and emissions from landfills and waste water treatment plants and sewers. 

In 2015, New York State committed to 40% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 relative to 1990 in its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) goals, which targets methane reductions from in-state sources for their relatively rapid climate response and co-benefits on surface air quality. In June 2019, the New York State legislature signed one of the most progressive climate bills in the US, the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change in New York. This bill also requires 50% of energy for New York to be from renewable sources by 2030. 



    Active Research Projects

    Collaboration with FROG-NY

    We joined the NOAA funded project Fluxes of Reactive Organic Gases in New York (FROG-NY) team to measure greenhouse gases in Mineola, NY during summer 2023 and are planning again for Feb 2024. 

    Urban Methane

    Our group measures methane and carbon dioxide concentrations at four locations around New York City. 

    For NOAA award "Quantifying the impact of biogenic and anthropogenic fluxes on the atmospheric composition of the New York City Metro Area" we are working with John Mak at Stony Brook University and Andrew Reinmann, City University of New York. Our New York centric project will be further developing our CO2 measurement network and measuring isoprene and ozone precursors and will be completing a series of summer intensives over the next few summers. 

    We are working with Lee Murray, University of Rochester (PI) and Eric M. Leibensperger, SUNY Plattsburgh, to make continuous measurements of methane and carbon dioxide at air-quality monitoring sites in New York State on a project funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA). This project aims to constrain regional upwind emissions of methane arriving into New York from neighboring states and examine the downwind impacts of those emissions on air quality and climate.

    We also worked with John Mak at Stony Brook University as part of the LISTOS project flights in summer 2019 to measure CO2 and CH4 profiles. LISTOS is the Long-island Sound Tropospheric Ozone Study funded by NYSERDA and NESCAUM (Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management). 

    We are involved in the FROG-NY campaign to measure fluxes of reactive gases and aerosols over Long Island, measuring outflow from New York City. This involved a field campaign in the summer of 2023 and an upcoming field campaign at the same site in the winter of 2024.


    Our work focuses on measuring carbon dioxide and methane and understanding their sources in urban environments and how greenhouse gas emissions are tied to urban air quality. The change in atmospheric concentrations during the COVID lockdown in 2020 was quite large and we are working to quantify how much is a reduction in emissions vs good weather conditions and what was driving the change. Some recent publications include:

    • Commane, R. and Schiferl, L, Climate mitigation policies for cities must consider air quality impacts. Chem, 8, 1-14, 2022.

    • Tzortziou, M., Kwong, C. F., Goldberg, D., Schiferl, L., Commane, R., Abuhassan, N., Szykman, J., and Valin, L.: Declines and peaks in NO2 pollution during the multiple waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in the New York metropolitan area, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 22, 2399–2417, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-22-2399-2022, 2022.

    Project News

    Roisin's Public Talk at LDEO for Earth Month

    Roisin gave the April Public Lecture at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory:

    Clearing the Air: Understanding New York City's Air Quality and Climate 


    Thanks to all who joined in person. The lecture was recorded and is available on Lamont's YouTube channel alongside all the previous Lectures:


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    Written Articles