Air quality influences by urban heat island coupled with synoptic weather patterns

Few studies have discussed the association between the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon and air quality under synoptic weather patterns conducive to UHI. In this study, the authors used statistical analyses to study this association in the Taichung metropolis region. The air quality data obtained from government-owned observation stations and wind field profiles obtained from tethersonde monitoring (performed during 21–29 October 2004) were combined with the simulations of the horizontal wind fields at different heights by the air pollution model (TAPM).

The results show that certain specific synoptic weather patterns worsen the air quality and induce the UHI phenomenon: Taichung’s UHI appears clearly under the synoptic weather patterns featuring light air or breezes (0.56 m/s ≤ wind speed < 2.2 m/s) mainly from the north and west. Furthermore, under these weather patterns, the concentrations of air pollutants (NO2, CO2 and CO) increase significantly (P < 0.05) with the UHI intensity. The convergence usually associated with nocturnal UHI causes the accumulation of O3 precursors, as well as other air pollutants, thereby worsening the air quality at that time and also during the following daytime period.

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Volume 407, Issue 8, 1 April 2009, Pages 2724–2733

Source: Science of the Total Environment

Publication Date: April 2008

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