Air Pollution, Climate, and Sustainability: Modeling to Support Decision-Making

Prof. Noelle Eckley Selin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Monday, March 13, 2023, 2 PM ET



Addressing health-damaging air pollution and mitigating climate change, are interrelated policy objectives that require controlling similar sources of pollution. Current modeling tools struggle to capture the full complexity of how relevant policies affect human well-being in ways that inform decision-making. I will present work that advances modeling and data analysis techniques to assess the air pollution and related sustainability implications of a range of climate and energy strategies, with a focus on equity. From recent work, I will present estimates from a retrospective analysis of US wind power deployment on air quality, human health, and air pollution exposure disparities, and quantification of the air quality implications of nuclear power phase-outs. I will also summarize new frameworks and models, as well as highlight new research, aimed at more accurately and effectively assessing complex, interacting sustainability challenges.



Noelle Eckley Selin is Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also the Director of MIT’s Technology and Policy Program. Her research uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making on sustainability challenges, including air pollution, climate change and hazardous substances such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Her work also examines interactions between science and policy in international environmental negotiations and develops systems approaches to address sustainability challenges. She co-chairs the MIT Climate Nucleus, the faculty committee charged with managing and implementing MIT’s climate plan. She is the recipient of a U.S. National Science Foundation CAREER award (2011), a member of the Global Young Academy (2014-2018), an American Association for the Advancement of Science Leshner Leadership Institute Fellow (2016-2017), and a Hans Fischer Senior Fellow at the Technical University of Munich Institute for Advanced Study (2018-2022). She received her PhD in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University.



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Mar 13 2023


John Xun Yang