Navigation Links
Scientists to assess Beijing Olympics air pollution control efforts
Date:8/8/2008

As the Summer Olympics in Beijing kicks off this week, the event is giving scientists a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe how the atmosphere responds when a heavily populated region substantially curbs everyday industrial emissions.

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded "Cheju ABC Plume-Monsoon Experiment" (CAPMEX) will include a series of flights by specially equipped unmanned aircraft known as autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (AUAVs).

The aerial vehicles were developed at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in La Jolla, Calif. Instruments on the aircraft can measure smog and its effects on meteorological conditions.

Data-gathering flights will originate at the South Korean island of Cheju, located about 1,165 kilometers (725 miles) southeast of Beijing. Cheju is in the projected path of pollution plumes that begin in various cities in China, including the capital.

Information from the flights will be combined with measurements by satellites and observatories on the ground that will track dust, soot and other pollution aerosols that travel from Beijing and other parts of China in so-called atmospheric brown clouds.

The instruments will observe pollution transport patterns as Beijing enacts its "great shutdown" for the Summer Olympic Games. Chinese officials have reduced industrial activity by as much as 30 percent and mandated cuts in automobile use by half, to safeguard the health of competing athletes immediately before and during the games.

"Thanks to the concern of Olympic organizers, the Chinese government, and the cooperation of the Korean government, we have a huge and unprecedented opportunity to observe a large reduction in everyday emissions from a region that's very industrially active," said atmospheric scientist V. Ramanathan of SIO, the lead investigator of CAPMEX.

"CAPMEX will be the very first UAV campaign in east Asia for air pollution and cloud interaction studies," added CAPMEX field campaign co-lead investigator Soon-Chang Yoon, a researcher at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Seoul National University in Korea. "This will be a very interesting experiment that can never happen again."

"Ramanathan's earlier research on atmospheric brown clouds demonstrated their importance in the polluted regions of the atmosphere," said Jay Fein, NSF program director for climate dynamics. "CAPMEX takes this work an important step forward with new micro- and nano-sensor technologies. These technologies will provide new estimates of solar irradiance, aerosol-cloud interactions, climate forcing and important components of the biogeochemical cycles of the East Asian and western Pacific Ocean region."

Satellite and ground observations began on August 1. Pre-inspection test flights are scheduled to begin August 9, with the field campaign expected to run through September 30.

"Black carbon in soot is a major contributor to global warming," said Ramanathan. "By determining the effects of soot reductions during the Olympics on atmospheric heating, we can gain much needed insights into the magnitude of future global warming."

Ramanathan's team has revolutionized the gathering of atmospheric data through the use of AUAVs that enable researchers to form dimensional profiles of clouds and other atmospheric masses at relatively low cost.

In previous studies, meteorological data gathered by the aircraft helped demonstrate that atmospheric brown clouds can diminish the solar radiation that reaches Earth's surface, warm the atmosphere at low altitudes and disrupt cloud formation.

With CAPMEX, scientists hope to improve their ability to deliver such assessments of particulate pollution effects more rapidly and enhance their value as a policymaking tool.

Miniaturized instruments on the aircraft measure a range of properties such as the quantity of soot and size of the aerosols upon which cloud droplets form. The instruments also record variables such as temperature, humidity and the intensity of sunlight that permeates clouds and masses of smog.

For CAPMEX, photonics instruments will be added to the aircrafts' payloads to help calculate the specific contributions of various aerosols to atmospheric heating.

Other new instruments such as auto-leveling platforms will enable researchers to improve estimates of how much dimming of sunlight takes place at the ocean surface because of pollution aerosols in the atmosphere.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
cdybas@nsf.gov
703-292-7734
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Scripps scientists will assess Beijing Olympics air pollution control efforts
2. Midge-hunting scientists tackle spread of devastating bluetongue virus
3. Scientists a step closer to producing fuel from bacteria
4. Water is designer fluid that helps proteins change shape, scientists say
5. The drivers of tropical deforestation are changing, say scientists
6. Caltech scientists awarded $20 million to Power the Planet
7. Syracuse University scientists discover how some bacteria may steal iron from their human hosts
8. Scientists in Hungary and Portugal get research boost
9. Scientists break record by finding northernmost hydrothermal vent field
10. Scientists suspect omega-3 fatty acids could slow acute wound healing
11. Durham scientists to tackle CO2 storage in global warming challenge
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Scientists to assess Beijing Olympics air pollution control efforts
(Date:4/11/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... grow at a CAGR of 30.37% during the period 2017-2021. ... prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today ... one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window into the human ... first application of deep learning to create predictive models ... and a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen ... future publicly available resources created and shared by the ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... , April 3, 2017  Data captured ... engineering platform, detected a statistically significant association ... prior to treatment and objective response of ... potential to predict whether cancer patients will ... treatment, as well as to improve both pre-infusion ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2017)... HATFIELD, Pa. , April 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... drug delivery platform, has signed a collaborative and ... through Dr. Silvia Muro . The overall ... pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of various 3DNA designs and ... aims involve targeting diseases of the vasculature as ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... EpiVax, Inc. ("EpiVax") has licensed its novel immune-modulating technology ... in autoimmune disease and allergy. Tregitopes, ... discovered in human immunoglobulin by EpiVax CEO ... Martin. Similar to intravenous immunoglobulin G, an autoimmune ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 ... ... protect proteins from thermal denaturation in a cellular milieu; however, the broad application ... a lack of simple platforms with sensitive quantitative readouts. Cell-based thermal stabilization assays ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... and Webster Bank, today announced first round funding to three startups through the ... early-stage financial support to new business startups affiliated with UConn. , The UConn ...
Breaking Biology Technology: