Laura A. McBride, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Science Building 241
B.S. – Moravian College, 2016
Ph.D. – University of Maryland, College Park, 2022
Laura McBride earned her B.S. in Chemistry at Moravian College. While at Moravian College,
Laura developed an interest in environmental chemistry and climate science. She attended the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 21 st Conference of the Parties as a
Civil Society Observer and observed the negotiation of the Paris Agreement. Laura earned a
Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. McBride joined the
faculty at Albright College in 2022.
Areas of Expertise
- Climate modeling
- Stratospheric ozone depletion
- Air quality
Areas of Research
Simulation and Projection of Climate Change using Climate Models
Earth’s climate varies on decadal to centennial timescales due to both natural and human induced
factors. Climate models are used to investigate changes to Earth’s climate system. Students in the
McBride lab use a simple climate model to simulate historical and project future temperature
changes, based on various assumptions of how greenhouse gases will evolve in the future. We
also analyze output from large climate models to determine changes in other climate variables,
such as precipitation, on a regional or global scale.
Impact of Human Activities on the Ozone Layer
In the 1970s and 1980s, scientists discovered that the ozone molecules in the stratosphere that
absorb harmful UV radiation (the ozone layer) above Antarctica was declining and forming an
ozone hole. The presence of long-lived halogenated gases in the stratosphere, emitted by human
activities, led to the destruction of ozone. The Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987, banned the
production and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer. A rise in short-lived halogenated
compounds not regulated by the Montreal Protocol has led to a slower than expected recovery of
the ozone layer. Students in the McBride lab will use a multiple linear regression model to
analyze the impact of very short-lived chlorine species on the recovery of the ozone layer.
Local Air Quality
Particulate matter of 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) is a pollutant in the atmosphere that can lead to
heart disease, lung cancer, and asthma. Powerplants, cars, trucks, and fires are the important
sources of PM2.5. Students in the McBride lab use low-cost sensors to measure the amount of
PM2.5 on Albright’s campus and the surrounding community to monitor local air quality.
- McBride, L. A., Hope, A. P., Canty, T. P, Bennett, B. F., Tribett, W. R., Salawitch, R. J. Comparison of CMIP6 Historical Climate Simulations and Future Projected Warming to an Empirical Model of Global Climate, Earth System Dynamics, 12, 545-579, 2021, https://doi.org/10.5194/esd-12-545-2021.
- Nicholls, Z., Meinshausen, M., Lewis, J., Rojas Corradi, M., Dorheim, K., Gasser, T., Hope, A. P., Leach, N. J., McBride, L. A., Quilcaille, Y., Rogelj, J., Salawitch, R. J., Samset, B. H., Sandstad, M.,
Shiklomanov, A., Skeie, R. B., Smith, C. J., Smith, S. J., Su, X., Tsutsui, J., Vega-Westhoff, B.,
Woodward, D., Reduced Complexity Model Intercomparison Project Phase 2: Synthesising Earth system knowledge for probabilistic climate projections, Earth’s Future, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EF001900.
- Nicholls, Z., Meinshausen, M., Lewis, J., Gieseke, R., Dommenget, D., Dorheim, K., Fan, C. S.,
Fuglestvedt, J. S., Gasser, T., Golüke, U., Goodwin, P., Hartin, C., Hope, A. P., Kriegler, E., Leach, N. J., Marchegiani, D., McBride, L. A., Quilcaille, Y., Rogelj, J., Salawitch, R. J., Samset, B. H., Sandstad, M., Shiklomanov, A., Skeie, R. B., Smith, C. J., Smith, S. J., Tanaka, K., Tsutsui, J., Xie, Z., Reduced Complexity Model Intercomparison Project (Phase 1): Introduction and evaluation of global-mean temperature response, Geoscientific Model Development, 2020. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-13-5175-2020.
- Salawitch, R. J., Fahey, D. W., Hegglin, M. I., McBride, L. A., Tribett, W. R., Doherty, S. J., Twenty
Questions and Answers About the Ozone Layer: 2018 Update, Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018, 84 pp., World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, 2019.
- “The Importance of Very Short-Lived Chlorine for the Recovery of Total Column Ozone”, American
Meteorological Society 2022 Virtual Meeting, January 2022
- “Equilibrium and Effective Climate Sensitivity Inferred from the Historical Climate Record Using an
Empirical Model of Global Climate Compared to CMIP6”, American Geophysical Union Society Fall Meeting, December 2021
- “The Importance of Very Short-Lived Halogens for the Recovery of Stratospheric Ozone”, Quadrennial Ozone Symposium, October 2021
- “Simulation and Projection of Global Mean Surface Temperature Using the Empirical Model of Global Climate and Comparison to CMIP6 GCMs”, European Geophysical Union General Assembly 2021, April 2021
- “Comparison of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, Attributable Anthropogenic Warming Rate, and Future Projections of Global Mean Surface Temperature from CMIP6 to those Inferred by an Empirical Model of Global Climate”, American Meteorological Society 2021 Virtual Meeting, January 2021
- “Comparison of CMIP6 Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity to that Inferred from the Century and a Half
Long Climate Record Using an Empirical Model of Global Climate”, American Geophysical Union
Society Virtual Fall Meeting, December 2020
- “Comparison of CMIP6 Historical Climate Simulations and Future Projected Warming to an Empirical Model of Global Climate”, American Meteorological Society 100 th National Meeting, Boston, MA, January 2020
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Chemical Society
- American Geophysical Union
- American Meteorological Society
- Earth Science Women’s Network
- National Association for Geoscience Teachers
Awards and Grants
- Outstanding Oral Presentation, American Meteorological Society 100 th Annual Meeting, Boston,
- Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Fellowship (Teaching fellowship),
United States Department of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, $34,000, 2018 –