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Urban Surface Modification as a Potential Ozone Air-quality Improvement Strategy in California: A Mesoscale Modelling Study

Abstract

Two of several surface modification (heat-island reduction) strategies, increased surface albedo and urban reforestation, are evaluated via mesoscale meteorological and photochemical modelling of regulatory episodes in central and southern California. The simulations suggest that these strategies can have beneficial impacts on air quality, with increased albedo being relatively more effective than urban reforestation. The simulations also show that air quality indices, such as regional 1-h peaks, area peaks, 8-h relative reduction factors, 24-h averages, etc., improve for both central and southern California and that for the range of strategies evaluated here, the improvements in air quality can be significant. The simulations of southern California suggest that there may be a threshold beyond which further surface modifications tend to produce smaller net improvements in ozone air quality.

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Correspondence to Haider Taha.

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Taha, H. Urban Surface Modification as a Potential Ozone Air-quality Improvement Strategy in California: A Mesoscale Modelling Study. Boundary-Layer Meteorol 127, 219–239 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10546-007-9259-5

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Keywords

  • Air quality
  • Meteorological modelling
  • Photochemical modelling
  • Surface modifications
  • Urban heat islands