West Texas A&M professor’s research featured by U.S. Dept. of Energy

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — “Once people start being aware of the global climate change and if the people start thinking about what we can do to save our planet,” said Dr. Naruki Hiranuma, West Texas A&M Associate Professor of Environmental Science.

That’s what Dr. Hiranuma wants the end goal to be of his ongoing global environmental project regarding global climate change.

“We try to understand what’s causing global climate change and what kind of chemistry and physics goes behind it,” said Dr. Hiranuma.

Dr. Hiranuma and his team’s current project was recently featured by the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

“We’re specifically looking into so-called ice nucleating particles. Ice nucleating particles can either create a cloud or destroy the cloud. If the clouds are destroyed by ice nucleating particles, more solar radiation is coming down to the earth,” said Dr. Hiranuma

Dr. Hiranuma and his team’s research efforts lead them to installing their technology in the Azores out in Europe.

From the Azores, the team’s next move was supposed to be to Alaska, but the territory they were heading to wouldn’t allow them to come due to pandemic restrictions.

So instead they just decided to stay in the Azores and it ended up being a blessing in disguise.

“We ended up staying there for over 200 days. For the first time we found evidence that the ice nucleating particles are really related to the cloud formation. In the end it’s not the instruments giving us the beneficial data or the scientific discovery. It’s us, scientists, we’re creating meaningful data for the community,” said Dr. Hiranuma.

Dr. Hiranuma’s current project is slated to last for five years, running until 2023.

If you’d like to read more about the project, click here: https://www.arm.gov/news/facility/post/69464

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