S54 Air Quality as An Indicator for Climatology Forecasting: A Case Study of Northern Utah

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Jaemin Eun, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Air Quality as An Indicator for Climatology Forecasting

A Case Study of Northern Utah


Northern Utah is home to some of the worst air quality in the United States rivaling even major urban areas like Los Angeles and New York City. Situated in the Wasatch Mountains, there are 3 particular valley regions (named after the counties they are situated in) of concern regarding air quality. In the far North is Cache Valley containing Logan, home to Utah State University and large agricultural activity. In the middle is Salt Lake Valley containing Utah’s highest population region of the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area. Connecting to Salt Lake Valley is Utah Valley located in central Utah containing Provo as well as being home to large mining and industrial activity. Each valley region has differing air polluting regimes; however, the primary concern lies with geographic and meteorological features that contribute to the severity of air quality in the Wasatch front. Although it is generally known that climatology can affect Air Quality, it is not known whether this relationship can manifest itself as a strong indicator for the inverse, does Air Quality affect climatology? And if so, can Air Quality data serve as an indicator for forecasting Climatological events? In this case Northern Utah would provide as a suitable local region of study as its consistently occurring Air Pollution episodes during mid-Winter can be compared to Climatology data.

Using data from NASA’s Aura OMI (Ozone Monitoring Instrument) Ozone measurements, air pollution episodes can be compared to available Climatology data. By use of the Python Programming Language, this study seeks to analyze the extent to which Air Quality data can influence Climate in the Northern Utah Region. Further discussion on developing a basis on applications of Atmospheric Chemistry in the field of Climatology will also be analyzed.

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