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Fostering a Collaborative Atmospheric Chemistry Research Community in the Latin America and Caribbean Region

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  • 1 Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics, Institute for Physical Research, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia
  • | 2 Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia
  • | 3 IGAC IPO, University of Colorado, CIRES, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 4 Department of Environmental Science, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • | 5 Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
  • | 6 Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • | 7 Grupo de Óptica Atmosférica de Camagüey, Camagüey Meteorological Center, Camagüey, Cuba
  • | 8 School of Physics, Universidad de El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
  • | 9 Departamento de Geofísica de la Universidad de Chile and Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR2), Santiago, Chile
  • | 10 Laboratory for Atmospheric Physics, Institute for Physical Research, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia
  • | 11 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  • | 12 Departamento de Geofísica de la Universidad de Chile and Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR2), Santiago, Chile
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Abstract

In 2013, the international Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP) and the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project Americas Working Group (iCACGP/IGAC AWG) was formed to build a cohesive network and foster the next generation of atmospheric scientists with the goal of contributing to a scientific community focused on building collective knowledge for the Americas. The Latin America–Caribbean (LAC) region shares common history, culture, and socioeconomic issues but, at the same time, it is highly diverse in its physical and human geography. The LAC region is unique because approximately 80% of its population lives in urban areas, resulting in high-density hotspots of urbanization and vast unpopulated rural areas. In recent years, most countries of the region have experienced rapid growth in population and industrialization as their economies emerge. The rapid urbanization, the associated increases in mobile and industrial sources, and the growth of the agricultural activities related to biomass burning have degraded air quality in certain areas of the LAC region. Air pollution has negative implications for human health, ecosystems, and climate. In addition, air pollution and the warming caused by greenhouse gases could impact the melting of Andean glaciers, an important source of freshwater. To better understand the links between air pollution and climate, it is necessary to increase the number of atmospheric scientists and improve our observational, analytical, and modeling capacities. This requires sustained and prioritized funding as well as stronger collaboration within the LAC region.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Marcos Andrade-Flores, Laboratorio de Física de la Atmósfera, Instituto de Investigaciones Físicas, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario, Calle 27, Cota-Cota, La Paz, Bolivia, E-mail: mandrade@fiumsa.edu.bo

Abstract

In 2013, the international Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP) and the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project Americas Working Group (iCACGP/IGAC AWG) was formed to build a cohesive network and foster the next generation of atmospheric scientists with the goal of contributing to a scientific community focused on building collective knowledge for the Americas. The Latin America–Caribbean (LAC) region shares common history, culture, and socioeconomic issues but, at the same time, it is highly diverse in its physical and human geography. The LAC region is unique because approximately 80% of its population lives in urban areas, resulting in high-density hotspots of urbanization and vast unpopulated rural areas. In recent years, most countries of the region have experienced rapid growth in population and industrialization as their economies emerge. The rapid urbanization, the associated increases in mobile and industrial sources, and the growth of the agricultural activities related to biomass burning have degraded air quality in certain areas of the LAC region. Air pollution has negative implications for human health, ecosystems, and climate. In addition, air pollution and the warming caused by greenhouse gases could impact the melting of Andean glaciers, an important source of freshwater. To better understand the links between air pollution and climate, it is necessary to increase the number of atmospheric scientists and improve our observational, analytical, and modeling capacities. This requires sustained and prioritized funding as well as stronger collaboration within the LAC region.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Marcos Andrade-Flores, Laboratorio de Física de la Atmósfera, Instituto de Investigaciones Físicas, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, Campus Universitario, Calle 27, Cota-Cota, La Paz, Bolivia, E-mail: mandrade@fiumsa.edu.bo
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