Meteorological Factors Affecting Air Pollution Acid Precipitation Air Pollution in Maryland Air Pollution Outline 5/1/03

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<ul><li> Slide 1 </li> <li> Meteorological Factors Affecting Air Pollution Acid Precipitation Air Pollution in Maryland Air Pollution Outline 5/1/03 </li> <li> Slide 2 </li> <li> Describe how downdrafts in a severe thunderstorm act to maintain updrafts. What is a gust front? In a severe thunderstorm, downdrafts spread out along the ground forcing warm, moist surface air into the thunderstorm, thus maintaining updrafts. A gust front is an outflow boundary between cool the air of downdraft and warmer surrounding air. REVIEW QUESTIONS </li> <li> Slide 3 </li> <li> List three factors which contribute to the urban heat island 1.Urban building material such as concrete and asphalt absorb greater quantities of solar radiation than vegetation and soils do. 2.City surfaces are impermeable, significantly reducing the evaporation rate 3At night, the building materials in cities release the additional heat they accumulated during the day and thus keep urban air warmer than that of outlying areas. </li> <li> Slide 4 </li> <li> List three steps in providing a weather forecast. First data is collected and analyzed on a global scale to provide a picture of current state of the atmosphere. Next the NWS employs a variety of techniques to establish the future state of the atmosphere. Then the forecast is disseminated to the public. </li> <li> Slide 5 </li> <li> Tornado formation: roll cloud forms by wind shear </li> <li> Slide 6 </li> <li> Roll cloud is lifted by updrafts to form a mesocyclone </li> <li> Slide 7 </li> <li> Mesocyclone tightens down into a tornado </li> <li> Slide 8 </li> <li> Sources and Types of Air Pollutants can be grouped into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary pollutants are emitted directly from identifiable sources. They pollute the air immediately upon being emitted. Secondary pollutants are produced in the atmosphere when certain chemical reactions take place among primary pollutants. </li> <li> Slide 9 </li> <li> The solution to pollution is dilutionNOT TRUE!!! The two most important atmospheric conditions affecting the dispersal of pollution are: (1) the strength of the wind; (2) the stability of the air. Boundary layer winds (winds from ~1500 meters down) mix pollutants horizontally while convective mixing disperses pollutants away from source regions. Meteorological factors </li> <li> Slide 10 </li> <li> The concentration of pollutants increases as wind speed decreases. Effect of wind speed on dilution </li> <li> Slide 11 </li> <li> Temperature profile for a surface inversion Role of atmospheric stability </li> <li> Slide 12 </li> <li> Temperature-profile changes after the Sun has heated the surface. Role of Atmospheric Stability </li> <li> Slide 13 </li> <li> The vertical distance between the Earths surface and the height to which convectional movements extend is called the mixing depth. A deeper mixing depth usually implies better air quality since pollution is more dilute. Stable air inhibits convective mixing. This leads to shallow mixing depths, which results in increased pollution levels. Convective mixing is stimulated by the Sun, and therefore, mixing depths are the deepest during the afternoon. Likewise, mixing depths are deeper during the summer than during the winter. Role of atmospheric stability </li> <li> Slide 14 </li> <li> Temperature inversions produce very stable atmospheric conditions in which mixing is greatly reduced. There are two general types of inversions: surface inversions and inversions aloft. Surface inversions are the result of differential radiative properties of the Earths surface and the air above. The Earth is a much better absorber and radiator of energy than air; thus, in the late morning and afternoon hours the lower atmosphere is unstable. The opposite is true in the evening; a stable atmosphere with little vertical mixing prevails. Role of atmospheric stability </li> <li> Slide 15 </li> <li> Inversions aloft are associated with prolonged, severe pollution episodes. These types of inversions are caused by the sinking air associated with the center of high pressure systems (subsidence). As the air sinks it is warmed adiabatically. Turbulence at the very lowest part of the atmosphere prevents subsidence from warming that portion of the atmosphere. Los Angles pollution episodes as well as those over the Mid-Atlantic region are the result of inversions aloft associated with strong high pressure systems. Role of Atmospheric Stability </li> <li> Slide 16 </li> <li> Inversion Aloft Role of Atmospheric Stability </li> <li> Slide 17 </li> <li> H Bermuda high </li> <li> Slide 18 </li> <li> The burning of fossil fuels (coal and petroleum products), releases about 43 millions tons of sulfur and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere over the United States every year. Acid precipitation </li> <li> Slide 19 </li> <li> Robert Angus Smith (1817-1884) was a 19th-century Scottish chemist who investigated numerous environmental issues. Smith did innovative studies of air and water pollution and was one of the few at the time to realize the importance of finding solutions to the environmental problems caused by urban growth. He is most famous for his 1852 research on air pollution, in the course of which he discovered acid rain. Acid Precipitation </li> <li> Slide 20 </li> <li> Rain is naturally weakly acidic because CO 2 from the atmosphere dissolves in water. Unperturbed rainwater has a pH of near 5. Precipitation near urban areas has a much lower pH. This rain or snow is called acid precipitation. Acid Precipitation </li> <li> Slide 21 </li> <li> Scientific evidence is mounting that acid-containing aerosols are harmful to human health. It has been known for some time that acid rain can lower the pH of lakes. Ecosystems are very complex. Different lakes, or different parts of a lake, can react differently to acid precipitation. This variation is due in large part to different types of soil matrixes. If the pH of a lake gets too low, the ecosystem will no longer support much of the life within it. Effects of Acid Precipitation </li> <li> Slide 22 </li> <li> Pollution in the Mid-Atlantic Region Maryland Department of the Environment University of Maryland Pennsylvania State University </li> <li> Slide 23 </li> <li> Most Unhealthy Air Quality Days Occur in the Summer Season. Summer Weather in the Mid- Atlantic Can be Characterized by the 4 Hs Hot Humid Hazy High Pressure but not always These weather conditions occur frequently in mid-Atlantic summers and are often but not always associated with unhealthy air quality. </li> <li> Slide 24 </li> <li> Pollutants of Concern During Poor Air Quality Events Fine Particles Haze Ozone </li> <li> Slide 25 </li> <li> Ozone (O 3 ) O 3 is a colorless gas made up of three oxygen molecules. In the stratosphere, O 3 is present in large concentrations and protects the earth by absorbing harmful UV radiation. Near the surface, O 3 is found in high concentrations in industrialized areas and is harmful to human respiratory systems and to plants and materials. O 3 is not emitted directly into the atmosphere but is formed by a series of reactions. </li> <li> Slide 26 </li> <li> Emissions of O 3 Precursors A Sunny Day Hot Temperatures (typically in the 90s) Moderate or Light Surface Winds Recipe for Ozone </li> <li> Slide 27 </li> <li> Fine Particles or Particulate Matter (PM) PM is made up of suspended particles of either solid or liquid pollutants. PM is grouped by size: under 10 microns is called PM 10, under 2.5 microns is called PM 2.5. PM causes increased mortality and morbidity. Examples of PM include diesel soot, acids, dust, sulfates, nitrates, and organics. </li> <li> Slide 28 </li> <li> Haze Haze is a subset of PM and is primarily composed of sulfur and nitrogen compounds. Particles of a certain size can reflect or refract light, causing a reduction in visibility. This reduction in visibility is known as haze. Hazy conditions occur frequently in conjunction with severe O 3 events. </li> <li> Slide 29 </li> <li> An Example of the Effects of Haze in the Mid-Atlantic The Great Smoky Mountains National Park A Clear DayA Hazy Day Photos from www.epa.gov </li> <li> Slide 30 </li> <li> A Typical Day in a Pollution Episode </li> <li> Slide 31 </li> <li> A Day in a Pollution Episode The most severe episodes typically occur over multiple days, building up on the first day and tapering off on the last. As an introduction, a day in the middle of a pollution episode is discussed. While PM, O 3 and haze events typically occur in conjunction with one another, we will focus here on an O 3 event. </li> <li> Slide 32 </li> <li> In the late night and early morning hours during a pollution episode certain effects are commonly found: O 3 concentrations are at a minimum, particularly near the urban centers. Winds are light and variable. Haze levels are at a maximum with visibility often reduced to a few miles or less. These effects are due to the development of the nocturnal inversion. Before Sunrise </li> <li> Slide 33 </li> <li> The Nocturnal Inversion On clear nights, a temperature inversion develops near the surface. - Air temperature usually decreases with height. An inversion is a layer of air where temperature increases with height. - Because the layer of air in the inversion is warmer than the air below it, the cooler air below the inversion cannot rise above it. Pollutants near the surface are therefore trapped below the inversion in the overnight hours. </li> <li> Slide 34 </li> <li> Temperature Inversion Temperature Temperature Inversion Altitude Pollution trapped below inversion </li> <li> Slide 35 </li> <li> What causes the nocturnal inversion? While inversions can occur at various levels in the atmosphere (and we will see more examples later) and can be due to a variety of effects, the nocturnal inversion is caused by surface (or radiational) cooling. </li> <li> Slide 36 </li> <li> Nocturnal Inversion After sunset on clear nights, the ground surface cools rapidly. However, air is not a very good conductor of heat. As a result, only the layer of air in the first few hundred meters from the surface cools. The air further aloft remains warm creating what is called the "nocturnal inversion." </li> <li> Slide 37 </li> <li> ABOVE BELOW Ozone reacts with substances near to and deposits onto the earths surface its concentration virtually disappears. More pollution is released at the surface and is trapped under the inversion haze increases. O 3 concentrations remains relatively high. Winds are moderate with some localized higher winds. Nocturnal Inversion </li> <li> Slide 38 </li> <li> This hourly O 3 graph for a summer day near Frederick, Maryland shows O 3 concentrations reaching a minimum in the early morning hours. O 3 Times Series </li> <li> Slide 39 </li> <li> Late Morning The ground heats up the air beneath the nocturnal inversion. This air becomes warmer than the air aloft, rises and mixes. The inversion layer disappears. Ozone and other pollutants above the inversion layer mix with the pollution under the layer This causes a dramatic increase in ground-level ozone, beginning around 10 AM Temperature Altitude </li> <li> Slide 40 </li> <li> The air that is mixed downward during the late morning and early afternoon hours is typically high in O 3 and other pollutants and concentrations are often uniform over large distances. Regional Scale O 3 O 3 concentrations along the western boundary of the I-95 Corridor on August 17, 1999 </li> <li> Slide 41 </li> <li> Regional Scale O 3 In this case from July, 1999, the high elevation monitor at Methodist Hill in southern PA is above the nocturnal inversion. By late morning, mixing has brought all monitors to the common regional level. </li> <li> Slide 42 </li> <li> Afternoon By late morning, downward mixing of O 3 leads to relatively uniform concentrations across the region. Local effects, related to emissions available, then dominate in the early afternoon hours. O 3 is formed as UV radiation drive reactions of O 3 precursors. Depending on a variety of factors, peak O 3 concentrations are reached during the mid to late afternoon hours. The highest concentrations occur downwind of the urban center. </li> <li> Slide 43 </li> <li> Ozone Map On this day, winds were generally west or southwest and highest O 3 levels are found along and east of the I-95 Corridor with lower concentrations near the city centers. </li> <li> Slide 44 </li> <li> The amount of O 3 produced each day depends on a variety of factors including: Temperature Concentrations of O 3 and precursors mixed downward during the late morning. Wind speeds. Local emissions of O 3 precursors Amount of available sunlight Depth of vertical mixing What modulates O 3 concentrations? </li> <li> Slide 45 </li> <li> Vertical Mixing Depth Just as surface-based inversions at night can trap pollutants near the surface, so higher level inversions can form in the afternoon hours and prevent pollution from mixing vertically. </li> <li> Slide 46 </li> <li> After Sunset If meteorological conditions remain the same, the temperature inversion forms again after dark as the ground cools faster than the air above. Ozone concentration above the inversion comes to equilibrium with other pollutants and then remains at a constant, relatively high level. Ozone trapped under the inversion reacts with other pollutants, particles and the surface; the ozone concentration diminishes. Ozone concentration remaining constant Ozone concentration diminishing Temperature Inversion Temperature Altitude </li> <li> Slide 47 </li> <li> A Multi-Day Pollution Episode </li> <li> Slide 48 </li> <li> Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> O3 Profile Elev (ft) 1,000 2,000 4,000 6,500 Wind Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> The process repeats now there is more O 3 (Sunset Day 2) Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> O3 Profile Elev (ft) 1,000 2,000 4,000 6,500 Wind Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> Warmer &gt;&gt; </li> <li> Warmer &gt;&gt;</li></ul>