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|Title:||Meteorological Variations and their Impact on NO2 Concentrations in the Toronto-Hamilton Urban Air-Shed, Canada|
|Keywords:||meteorological variations, NO2 concentrations, Toronto-Hamilton, Urban air-shed, pollution, health|
|Abstract:||<p> Exposure to traffic-related air pollutants has been found to be damaging to human health. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels, commonly used to indicate traffic-related pollution levels, vary significantly over small areas with higher levels found near sources such as major roads and industrial areas. The temporal and spatial variability in NO2 levels is partly caused by fluctuations in meteorological variables, and better understanding of these: meteorological influences can be used to enhance exposure assessment in health effects models.</p> <p> In this study, the interaction between measured hourly NO2 concentrations and climate variables at 11 locations in the Toronto-Hamilton Urban Airshed (THUAS) is examined. Analysis of meteorological data shows that two large urban heat islands (UHI) are present in the THUAS, centred on the downtown areas of Toronto and Hamilton. Lake breezes are found to occur frequently in the region, on up to 50% of summer days at lakeshore locations. These temperature and wind patterns influence NO2 and pollutant distributions. NO2 concentrations are highest in the early morning and late evening. Mean concentrations are highest in winter, although individual 1-hour NO2 concentrations are found to be highest in summer because of higher production rates. Wind direction is the strongest control on hourly NO2 concentration, and temperature and wind speed also have an effect. Seasonal variations in meteorology and emissions mean that the degree of spatial variability in NO2 concentrations changes from season-to-season in the THUAS resulting in variable exposure of urban populations.</p> <p> An attempt to improve an existing Land Use Regression (LUR) model, used for predicting nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations and estimating human exposure, was made by incorporating high resolution interpolated observed up- and downwind effects of wind transport on NO2 concentrations around major roadways. Incorporation of observed wind direction effects in the LUR model slightly improved the accuracy of NO2 concentration estimates in densely populated, high traffic, and industrial/business areas in both Toronto and Hamilton. However the short-term nature of initial NO2 concentration data limits the utility of the model in light of the significant seasonal variation in climate parameters in the THUAS and their influence on NO2 transport and distribution.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Digitized Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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