AppalAIR = Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research
High-elevation measurements are essential to understanding a number of regional atmospheric issues including air pollution transport, high-impact weather events, climate variability, and climate change. Air quality and climate data from high elevations are regionally representative because the values are not greatly influenced by local sources. Yet, there is currently very little air quality and climate related measurements in northwestern North Carolina.
The Appalachian Atmospheric Interdisciplinary Research Program (AppalAIR) is an interdisciplinary air quality and climate research initiative that will satisfy the data needs of the state and the region. The overriding goal of the project is to develop AppalAIR as an intensive interdisciplinary research and teaching program for exploring atmospheric processes. This involves subjects such as air pollution formation and transport, the relationship of pollution and natural aerosol sources to a changing climate, and their impacts on regional ecosystems, weather, and climate.
AppalAIR will directly support research activities to improve understanding and forecasting of high impact events (e.g. winter weather, severe weather, and heavy rainfall) in the context of climate variability and change. AppalAIR will also develop an extensive outreach program designed to inform and educate people about atmospheric processes and pollution and how these impact high elevation ecosystems and local communities of the southern Appalachian Mountains.