P1.45 Analysis of Ground-Based Remote Sensing Measurements of Aerosols and Ozone in Greensboro, NC: Study on the Disturbances in Air Quality and Climate

Thursday, 12 November 2009
Katif A. Peay, NOAA, Greensboro, Guilford County

Abstract. The city of Greensboro is located in the Piedmont Triad Region of North Carolina which has one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. NC has a wide range of elevation over a relatively short distance. This gives North Carolina a varied climate with Greensboro, located in the Piedmont, in the center. The topography of a region can affect the climate which affects the formation and transport of pollutants. This research will attempt to show that Piedmont region can be identified as an oragraphical basin since it is located in the wake of a mountain and the slope of the surface can affect certain meteorological variables that can affect the ozone concentration. This oragraphical basin is not conducive to pollutant dispersion. The WRF model will be used to analyze the local meteorology of Greensboro, NC. In addition, the topographic shading of a complex terrain plays a significant role on the energy balance. NOAA's PBL algorithm is currently being used to analyze existing wind profiler data in an effort to better understand the local surface energy budget.

NC's ozone season occurs in the peak of NC's growing season. This region possesses a large number of trees and agricultural fields/crops. The fluxes of heat and moisture are affected by the spatial variations of surface vegetation and therefore also influence the local concentration of ozone. In order to complete a detailed analysis of the surface effects on ozone, one must first have a detailed representation of the surface. During this research it has been seen that several lakes/ponds, roads, and elevations have not been truly depicted in the most current available data. This study will include a detailed surface analysis and a detailed analysis of the surface fluxes in order to better characterize ozone episodes in Greensboro, NC.

North Carolina has thirteen international or major regional airports. It also has the largest state maintained highway network in the United States. The city is at the nexus of several major freeways. With such a profound transportation network the amount of emissions can reach exorbitant rates over certain times of the day. These emissions have a considerable effect on the development of ozone. The WRF-Chem model will be used to investigate the chemistry of ozone production and depletion. This study will attempt to quantify the pattern of emission of ozone precursors using available traffic data and examine its relationship with ozone episodes.

The overall goal of this research is to better the understanding of atmospheric composition, structure, function, and variability in order to improve on the development of more robust modeling. The models used in this research, WRF, WRF-Chem and NOAA's PBL algorithm, will be tested on their reliability and accuracy by comparing their results with available observational data. This will aid in establishing the framework and strategies required to meet society's evolving needs. The scope of this research is to examine what factors, human or otherwise, influence atmospheric processes and constituents, particularly ozone.

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