85th AMS Annual Meeting

Monday, 10 January 2005
Modeling the complex interactions among urban climate, air quality, and adaptive/reactive human response
David J. Sailor, Portland State University, Portland, OR; and R. D. Bornstein, L. George, J. Semenza, and H. Taha
Poster PDF (57.5 kB)
The urban climate - air quality - human response system is complex, replete with feedback mechanisms that are poorly understood. Existing frameworks for investigating how urban planning, policy actions and regulatory decisions impact targeted outcomes (such as reducing energy consumption and improving air quality and human health in urban areas) ignore these complex and non-linear feedback mechanisms. For example, strategies to mitigate air pollution are generally tested by sequentially linking separate models for meteorology, emissions, and atmospheric chemistry, bypassing human and other feedback mechanisms that act both on short and long time scales. Furthermore, the very nature of the current modeling paradigm makes it difficult to assess potential interactions among endpoints of interest e.g., will policy recommendations intended to improve air quality have unintended impacts on health or energy consumption? Consequently, current approaches are severely limited in their ability to assess how population growth, technological change, global climate change, and adaptation may affect the urban environment.

This poster will summarize the goals and methods of a new multi-institution interdisciplinary project which aims to develop an integrated analysis framework to evaluate human response to, and impact on, heat waves and episodes of poor air quality. This framework will link models of meteorology, air quality, energy consumption and human response, incorporating feedback mechanisms among individual modules. The data required to develop and validate this analysis framework will include (1) survey instruments to quantify human activity response functions; (2) field measurement campaigns to spatially resolve air pollution and meteorological conditions; and (3) energy and transportation data to quantify anthropogenic waste heat release. The scientific objectives of this study will be tightly coupled with the interdisciplinary environmental science/policy education of participants across the educational spectrum (high school students, teachers, undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and faculty). While the analytical framework developed in this project will be generally applicable to any urban area, it will be implemented for two test sites where diverse response characteristics are likely - Portland Oregon, and Houston Texas.

Supplementary URL: http://www.fuse.pdx.edu