Michael J. Prather

picture of Michael J. Prather

Fred Kavli Professor, Earth System Science
School of Physical Sciences

Ph.D., Yale University, 1976, Astronomy

B.A. (Physics), Merton College (Oxon), 1971

B.S., Yale University, 1969

Phone: (949) 824-5838
Fax: (949) 824-3256
Email: mprather@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
3329 Croul Hall
Mail Code: 3100
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Atmospheric Chemistry, Composition, Ozone Depletion, Climate
Academic Distinctions
Fellow of the AGU (1997), Fellow of the AAAS (2004),
Foreign Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (1999).
Research Abstract
Simulation of the physical, chemical and biological processes that determine atmospheric composition. development of (1) detailed numerical models of photochemistry and atmospheric radiation, and (2) global chemical transport models that describe ozone and other trace gases. Studies include the predicted effects of volcanic sulfate aerosols on stratospheric ozone loss, the role of clouds in scattering sunlight and altering photochemistry, and the non-linearities in chemical systems that lead to sudden changes such as the depletion of ozone caused by CFC increases.

Numerical models of atmospheric chemistry must simulate the transport of trace species by winds, convective mixing, boundary layer exchange with the surface, and exchange between the stratosphere and troposphere. Such models are used to predict future changes in the atmosphere and to analyze global data sets. Observed trace gas distributions are used as measures of the atmospheric circulation or alternatively as indicators of the location and strength of sources. Such a quantitative understanding of these causal relationships is an essential element of assessments of chemical and climatic change, and it is needed to convince governments and the public to make tough environmental choices.
Michael Prather and Dieter Ehhalt, Chapter 4. Atmospheric Chemistry and Greenhouse Gases, in "Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis", J.T. Houghton et al., eds., Cambridge U. Press, pp. 239-287, 2001.
Lifetimes of Atmospheric Species: Integrating Environmental Impacts,
Michael J. Prather, Geophys. Res. Lett., 29(22), 2063, doi:10.1029/2002GL016299, 2002
Fresh air in the 21st Century?,
Prather, Michael, Michael Gauss, Terje Berntsen, Ivar Isaksen, Jostein Sundet, Isabelle Bey, Guy Brasseur, Frank Dentener, Richard Derwent, David Stevenson, Lee Grenfell, Didier Hauglustaine, Larry Horowitz, Daniel Jacob, Loretta Mickley, Mark Lawrence, Rolf von Kuhlmann, Jean-Francois Muller, Giovanni Pitari, Helen Rogers, Matthew Johnson, Michiel van Weele and Oliver Wild, Geophys. Res. Lett., 30(2),1100, doi:10.1029/2002GL016285, 2003.
CTM Ozone Simulations for Spring 2001 over the Western Pacific: Comparisons with TRACE-P lidar, ozonesondes and TOMS columns,
Wild, O., J.K. Sundet, M.J. Prather, I.S.A. Isaksen, H. Akimoto, E.V. Browell, and S.J. Oltmans, J. Geophys. Res., 108(D21), 8826, doi:10.1029/2002JD003283, 2003.
An environmental experiment with H2? (Perspective)
Prather, M. J., Science, 302(5645): 581-582, 24 Oct 2003.
CO2 source inversions using satellite observations of the upper troposphere.
Bernard C. Pak, and Michael J. Prather. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 4571-4574, 2001.
The stratospheric N2O-NOy system: Testing uncertainities in a 3-D framework. Seth C. Olsen, Chris A. McLinden, and Michael J. Prather. J. Geophys. Res., 106, 28771-28784, 2001.
Understanding trends in stratospheric NOy and NO2. C. A. McLinden, S. C. Olsen, M. J. Prather, and J. B. Liley.
J. Geophys. Res., 106, 27787-27793, 2001.
Indirect long-term global cooling from NOx emissions. O. Wild, M.J. Prather, and H. Akimoto. Geophys. Res. Lett., 28, 1719-1722, 2001.
Prather, M., R. Derwent, D. Ehhalt, P. Fraser, E Sanhueza, X. Zhou, Chapter 2: Other tracer gases and atmospheric chemistry, in Climate Change 1994, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, J.T. Houghton et al., eds., Cambridge U. Press, pp. 73-126, 1995.
Excitation of the primary tropospheric chemical mode in a global three-dimensional model. O. Wild and M.J. Prather.
J. Geophys. Res., 105, 24647-24660, 2000.
Fast-J: Accurate simulation of in- and below-cloud photolysis in Tropospheric Chemical Models. O. Wild, X. Zhu, and M.J. Prather. J. Atmos. Chem., 37, 245-282, 2000.
Professional Society
AGU, ACS, AAAS, Sigma Xi
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