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Air quality is defined as a measure of the condition of air relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need or purpose.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) (also known as the Air Pollution Index (API) or Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) is a number used by government agencies to characterize the quality of the air at a given location. As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience increasingly severe adverse health effects. To compute the AQI requires an air pollutant concentration from a monitor or model. The function used to convert from air pollutant concentration to AQI varies by pollutant, and is different in different countries. Air quality index values are divided into ranges, and each range is assigned a descriptor and a color code. Standardized public health advisories are associated with each AQI range. An agency might also encourage members of the public to take public transportation or work from home when AQI levels are high.
Limitations of the AQI
Most air contaminants do not have an associated AQI. Many countries monitor ground-level ozone, particulates, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide and calculate air quality indices for these pollutants.
Causes of poor air quality
The AQI can worsen (go up) due to lack of dilution of air emissions by fresh air. Stagnant air, often caused by an anticyclone or temperature inversion, or other lack of winds lets air pollution remain in a local area.
Indices by location
The current health classifications used by the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) are as follows:
The Air Pollution Index (API) levels for Hong Kong are related to the measured concentrations of ambient respirable suspended particulate (RSP), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over a 24-hour period based on the potential health effects of air pollutants.
An API level at or below 100 means that the pollutant levels are in the satisfactory range over 24 hour period and pose no acute or immediate health effects. However, air pollution consistently at "High" levels (API of 51 to 100) in a year may mean that the annual Hong Kong "Air Quality Objectives" for protecting long-term health effects could be violated. Therefore, chronic health effects may be observed if one is persistently exposed to an API of 51 to 100 for a long time.
"Very High" levels (API in excess of 100) means that levels of one or more pollutant(s) is/are in the unhealthy range. The Hong Kong Environmental Protection Department provides advice to the public regarding precautionary actions to take for such levels.
China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) is responsible for measuring the level of air pollution in China. As of 28 August 2008, MEP monitors daily pollution level in 86 of its major cities. The API level is based on the level of 5 atmospheric pollutants, namely sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), suspended particulates (PM10), carbon monoxide (CO), and ozone (O3) measured at the monitoring stations throughout each city.
An individual score is assigned to the level of each pollutant and the final API is the highest of those 5 scores. The pollutants can be measured quite differently. SO2, NO2 and PM10 concentration are measured as average per day. CO and O3 are more harmful and are measured as average per hour. The final API value is calculated per day.
The scale for each pollutant is non-linear, as is the final API score. Thus an API of 100 does not mean twice the pollution of API at 50, nor does it mean twice as harmful. While an API of 50 from day 1 to 182 and API of 100 from day 183 to 365 does provide an annual average of 75, it does not mean the pollution is acceptable even if the benchmark of 100 is deemed safe. This is because the benchmark is a 24 hour target. The annual average must match against the annual target. It is entirely possible to have safe air every day of the year but still fail the annual pollution benchmark.
API and Health Implications (Daily Targets)
The air quality in Mexico is reported in IMECAs. The IMECA is calculated using the measurements of average times of the chemicals ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and particles lower than 10 micrometers (PM10).
The Ministry of Environment of South Korea uses the Comprehensice Air-quality Index (CAI) to describe the ambient air quality based on health risk of air pollution. The index aims to help the public easily understand air quality level and protect the health of people from air pollution. - The CAI has values of 0 through 500, which are divided into six categories. The higher the CAI value, the greater the level of air pollution. - Of values of the five air pollutants, the highest is the CAI value.
For more information on the CAI please go here http://eng.airkorea.or.kr/cai/main.jsp
AEA Technology issue air quality forecasts for the UK on behalf of DEFRA wherein the level of pollution is described either as an index (ranging from 1 to 10) or as a banding (low, moderate, high or very high). These levels are based on the health effects of each pollutant.
The forecast is produced for a number of different pollutants and their
Atmospheric dispersion modeling is the mathematical simulation of how air pollutants disperse in the ambient atmosphere. It is performed with computer programs that solve the mathematical equations and algorithms which simulate the pollutant dispersion. The dispersion models are used to estimate or to predict the downwind concentration of air pollutants or toxins emitted from sources such as industrial plants, vehicular traffic or accidental chemical releases.
Such models are important to governmental agencies tasked with protecting and managing the ambient air quality. The models are typically employed to determine whether existing or proposed new industrial facilities are or will be in compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) in the United States and other nations. The models also serve to assist in the design of effective control strategies to reduce emissions of harmful air pollutants.
Air dispersion models are also used by public safety responders and emergency management personnel for emergency planning of accidental chemical releases. Models are used to determine the consequences of accidental releases of hazardous or toxic materials, Accidental releases may result fires, spills or explosions that involve hazardous materials, such as chemicals or radionuclides.. The results of dispersion modeling, using worst case accidental release source terms and meteorological conditions, can provide an estimate of location impacted areas, ambient concentrations, and be used to determine protective actions appropriate in the event a release occurs. Appropriate protective actions may include evacuation or shelter-in-place for persons in the downwind direction. At industrial facilities, this type of consequence assessment or emergency planning is required under the Clean Air Act (United States) (CAA) codified in part 60 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
The dispersion models vary depending on the mathematics used to develop the model, but all require the input of data that may include:
- Meteorological conditions such as wind speed and direction, the amount of atmospheric turbulence (as characterized by what is called the "stability class"), the ambient air temperature, the height to the bottom of any inversion aloft that may be present, cloud cover and solar radiation.
- Source term (the concentration or quantity of toxins in emission or accidental release source terms) and temperature of the material
- Emissions or release parameters such as source location and height, type of source (i.e., fire, pool or vent stack)and exit velocity, exit temperature and mass flow rate or release rate.
- Terrain elevations at the source location and at the receptor location(s), such as nearby homes, schools, businesses and hospitals.
- The location, height and width of any obstructions (such as buildings or other structures) in the path of the emitted gaseous plume, surface roughness or the use of a more generic parameter â€œruralâ€� or â€œcityâ€� terrain.
Many of the modern, advanced dispersion modeling programs include a pre-processor module for the input of meteorological and other data, and many also include a post-processor module for graphing the output data and/or plotting the area impacted by the air pollutants on maps. The plots of areas impacted may also include isopleths showing areas of minimal to high concentrations that define areas of the highest health risk. The isopleths plots are useful in determining protective actions for the public and responders.
The atmospheric dispersion models are also known as atmospheric diffusion models, air dispersion models, air quality models, and air pollution dispersion models.
Discussion of the layers in the Earth's atmosphere is needed to understand where airborne pollutants disperse in the atmosphere. The layer closest to the Earth's surface is known as the troposphere. It extends from sea-level to a height of about 18 km and contains about 80 percent of the mass of the overall atmosphere. Thestratosphereis the next layer and extends from 18 km to about 50 km. The third layer is themesospherewhich extends from 50 km to about 80 km. There are other layers above 80 km, but they are insignificant with respect to atmospheric dispersion modeling.
The lowest part of the troposphere is called the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL)or theplanetary boundary layer (PBL)and extends from the Earth's surface to about 1.5 to 2.0 km in height. The air temperature of the atmospheric boundary layer decreases with increasing altitude until it reaches what is called theinversion layer(where the temperature increases with increasing altitude) that caps the atmospheric boundary layer. The upper part of the troposphere (i.e., above the inversion layer) is called the free troposphere and it extends up to the 18 km height of the troposphere.
The ABL is of the most important with respect to the emission, transport and dispersion of airborne pollutants. The part of the ABL between the Earth's surface and the bottom of the inversion layer is known as the mixing layer. Almost all of the airborne pollutants emitted into the ambient atmosphere are transported and dispersed within the mixing layer. Some of the emissions penetrate the inversion layer and enter the free troposphere above the ABL.
In summary, the layers of the Earth's atmosphere from the surface of t
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Answers:GIS related websites should have that information but you may have to use GIS software to get the information posted graphically.
Answers:--- http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1001277 http://www.portfolio.mvm.ed.ac.uk/studentwebs/session4/27/citydiff.htm http://www.aeat.co.uk/netcen/aqarchive/newham/weekly.html
Answers:Try to see what you can find here or may be they can assist you: http://www.worldwatch.org/
Answers:I won't do your homework for you but do a search for the levels of pollution tested for in a particular area and how they changed over a period of years. For example, years 1950 to 1990 can be the X axis. The levels of nitrogen, heavy metals (like mercury) and dioxins in water can be on the Y axis. Look for levels of sulphur in the air.