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2010 Haagen-Smit Prize Winners

The Executive Editors and the Publisher of Atmospheric Environment take great pleasure in announcing the 2010 ''Haagen-Smit Prize'', designed to recognize outstanding papers published in Atmospheric Environment. The Prize is named in honor of Prof. Arie Jan Haagen-Smit, a pioneer in the field of air pollution and one of the first editors of the International Journal of Air Pollution, a predecessor to Atmospheric Environment.

The ''Haagen-Smit Prize'' is given annually to two papers previously published in Atmospheric Environment and covering different science areas. Additional information about this award and the selection committee members can be found at http://geo.arc.nasa.gov/sgg/singh/aehaagen.html. The nominating letters printed below describe the two 2010 winning papers.

Nomination Letters

Daniel JacobD. J. Jacob. Heterogeneous Chemistry and Tropospheric Ozone. Atmos. Environ., 34, 2131-2159, 2000.

This review came out about ten years ago amid considerable confusion over the role of aerosols and clouds in the chemical budgets of tropospheric oxidants and related species. A large number of laboratory and field studies were coming out with results that were difficult to interpret or quantify; in a situation somewhat akin to the present state of confusion over the chemistry of organic aerosols. At a time when the first global 3-D models of tropospheric chemistry were being developed, there was a feeling that large and uncharacterized uncertainties regarding heterogeneous chemistry compromised the utility of these models for understanding the factors controlling tropospheric ozone and OH, and the related effects of human activity.

Jacob’s review was a tour de force that provided a new vision on heterogeneous chemistry processes and their effects on tropospheric oxidants. He showed that many of the speculations in vogue at the time (such as rapid catalytic loss of ozone in clouds or on soot particles, fast conversion of HNO3 to NOx in aerosols, heterogeneous loss of formaldehyde, transition metals as major sources of HOx) were unsupported by the ensemble of the data. He made his points by bringing out various pieces of previously unrecognized evidence and reasoning. He went on to identify four heterogeneous processes involving reactive uptake of HO2, NO2, NO3, and N2O5 that needed to be included in models. He showed that this could be done in a simple manner, considering the state of the science, by using reactive uptake coefficients for which he provided best estimates and uncertainty ranges. He also identified major research needs for the future.

The consolidation and synthesis of knowledge provided by Jacob’s review built new confidence in the reliability of global models of tropospheric oxidants, and it has stood the test of time. It remains the standard reference for the role of heterogeneous processes in tropospheric oxidant chemistry. This success reflects in large part the scholarly depth and pedagogical logic with which Jacob analyzed the relevant interfacial mass transfer processes and chemical mechanisms. Jacob’s review has served to educate a new generation of atmospheric chemists, and it has stimulated considerable research. It has been cited over 290 times as of this writing.

Prof. Jacob and his colleagues from Harvard University have a consistent record of outstanding scientific research with many of their publications appearing in Atmospheric Environment. I believe that the scientific excellence of the paper and its authors make it a worthy choice for the Haagen-Smit Prize.

Nominator: Hanwant B. Singh, NASA Ames Research Center, USA

M. E. JenkinM. E. Jenkin, S. M. Saunders and M. J. Pilling. The tropospheric degradation of volatile organic compounds: A protocol for mechanism development. Atmos. Environ., 31, 81-104, 1997.

There is little doubt that the availability of a chemical mechanism protocol that allows one to write a detailed degradation mechanism for a most complicated organic molecule is very useful for laboratory and modeling studies. For the protocol to have stood the test of time (over 13 years) and now be acknowledged as the best in the world in terms of accuracy, simplicity of use and flexibility adds further weight to any claim for recognition. The fact that the whole mechanism can be systematically reduced in a traceable way and that further additions such as a secondary aerosol scheme have been added strengthens the case still further. Finally, given that the protocol has been used in cutting-edge research in all areas of atmospheric science but in particular for air quality and urban air policy studies I cannot think of a more fitting winner of the Haagen-Smit Prize for 2010. The paper has been cited over 232 times.

Nominator: Dudley E. Shallcross, University of Bristol, UK

Our congratulations go to the authors of the two outstanding papers selected for the 2010 Prize. We would also very much like to thank all the nominators for their effort and note that unsuccessful nominations are eligible for consideration again next year. We further take this opportunity to acknowledge the conscientious effort of the selection committee, made up of members from five countries, in arriving at a clear and timely decision.

Hanwant B. Singh, Peter Brimblecombe, and Chak Chan
Editors in Chief of Atmospheric Environment.

Bethan Keall
Publisher, Elsevier Science.