Navigation Links
ASU researchers use NASA satellites to improve pollution modeling
Date:12/17/2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Detecting pollution, like catching criminals, requires evidence and witnesses; but on the scale of countries, continents and oceans, having enough detectors is easier said than done.

A team of air quality modelers, climatologists and air policy specialists at Arizona State University may soon change that. Under a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, they have developed a new way to close the gaps in the global pollution dragnet by using NASA satellite data to detect precursors to ozone pollution, also known as smog.

The technique, devised with the aid of health specialists from University of California at Berkeley, uses satellite data to improve ASUs existing computer models of ozone events filling in the blanks while expanding coverage to much larger areas.

The satellite data provides information about remote locations, said Rick Van Schoik, director of ASUs North American Center for Transborder Studies. It gives us data from oceans and about events from other countries with less advanced monitoring capabilities, such as Mexico.

Such information can have vital implications for health, especially in southern Arizona. According to Joe Fernando, a professor in ASUs department of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the environmental fluid dynamics program, who worked on the project, ozone is a key ingredient in urban smog, which affects even healthy adults and presents a special health risk to small children, the elderly and those with lung ailments. It can cause shortness of breath, chest pains, increased risk of infection, aggravation of asthma and significant decreases in lung function. Some studies have linked ozone exposure with death by stroke, premature death among people with severe asthma, cardiac birth defects and reduced lung-function growth in children.

This new satellite-assisted model could allow researchers to see an ozone plume forming and work with communities to head off health effects in advance.

Before, if there were precursors of an ozone event, we couldnt see them we just got hit by the pollution, Van Schoik said. Now, we can watch the event build.

Improved oceanic coverage could also help with monitoring one of the largest sources of pollution along the coasts: oceanic ships, which are covered only by international treaties and are not regulated by the EPA.

Ozone forms when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic hydrocarbons byproducts of fossil fuel pollution react with one another in the presence of sunlight and warm temperatures, resulting in a chain reaction. This chain reaction can mean that large amounts of ozone can bloom from even moderate amounts of nitrogen oxides.

Scientists can detect ozone by detecting the absorption of specific wavelengths of light, but they have had to rely on ground data and radiosondes atmospheric instrumentation bundles sent up on weather balloons to surmount the large uncertainties associated with the technique.

This is the reason comparisons were made between low-level ozone direct measurements with those obtained from satellites, said Fernando. The importance is that the satellite data were used to improve model performance that this work will lead to better model predictions and hence superior forecasting of ozone and improved health warnings.

The satellites currently provide data every 16 days. Each square, or pixel, of the grid they cover is five by eight kilometers, but Van Schoik said that the resolution would continue to improve.

NASA has developed tools that are starting to fulfill much of the promise that we hoped for when NASA began engaging in global environmental monitoring, he said. With each member of our team adding their own expertise, we are seeing just how powerful that can be.


'/>"/>

Contact: Skip Derra
skip.derra@asu.edu
480-965-4823
Arizona State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
2. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
3. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
4. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
5. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
6. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
7. Researchers discover new strategies for antibiotic resistance
8. Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
9. Binghamton University researchers investigate evolving malaria resistance
10. UIC researchers find promising new targets for antibiotics
11. Researchers develop simple method to create natural drug products
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/18/2017)... Minn. , Jan. 18, 2017 ... technology company that supports the entire spectrum of ... has been another record-breaking year for the organization ... market interest in MedNet,s eClinical products and services. ... the tremendous marketplace success of iMedNet ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... , Jan. 12, 2017  New research undertaken by ... office of the future.  1,000 participants were simply asked which ... months which we may consider standard issue.  Insights on what ... 2017 were also gathered from futurists and industry leaders including ... James Canton .  Some of ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. , Jan. 11, 2017  Michael Johnson, ... from Foundation Venture Capital Group, Inc., has been named to the ... Johnson, 27,  was one of 600 people in 20 fields ... only four percent of the 15,000 applicants were selected. ... He is currently a PhD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017   Parent Project ... fight to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , ... the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Talem ... exploration of robotic technology to assist people living ... incorporate NJIT,s technology – an embedded computer, software, a ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , ... January 18, 2017 , ... ... Dr. Dante Leven successfully implanted SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ Solofuse-P™. The operation took place on ... Valley Stream, NY. The procedure was an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Announced in December ... Institutes (MII). U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced the award of ... of Defense has announced the award of a new Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Researchers from a new study are stating that if levels of ... cancer treatment, this indicates there is still remaining prostate cancer cells that are more likely ... test has always been an indicator of whether a man’s prostate cancer is growing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: