Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















OZONE NEWS
O, no: Ozone levels elevated in presence of wildfire smoke
by Staff Writers
Fort Collins CO (SPX) Jan 27, 2016


The High Park Fire devastated more than 87,000 acres in the mountains west of Fort Collins, Colorado in 2012. This photo was taken June 9, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. Image courtesy Steven Brey and Colorado State University. For a larger version of this image please go here.

For those living with the threat to life and property from wildfires, Colorado State University scientists have some more bad news: Wildfire smoke seems to elevate levels of ozone, a nasty air pollutant with proven adverse health effects.

The influence of wildfire smoke on ozone levels during summer months in the United States is not well understood. CSU atmospheric science researchers took a comprehensive, multi-year look at this secondary, insidious effect of raging wildfires. Published in Environmental Science and Technology, the new study quantifies what wildfire smoke does to ozone levels over a nearly 10-year span, integrating data from hundreds of monitoring sites dotting the country.

Across the U.S., ozone levels were higher on smoky days than on smoke-free days, according to the study led by Steven Brey, a graduate student working with Emily Fischer, assistant professor of atmospheric science in CSU's College of Engineering. According to Brey's analysis, a number of urban areas had smoke present during 10 percent to 20 percent of days when the standard Environmental Protection Agency ozone levels of 70 parts per billion (ppb) were exceeded. The EPA reset the ozone standard down from 75 ppb late last year, making it more stringent.

Ozone is one of six "criteria pollutants" monitored by the EPA, and its adverse effects particularly on the young, elderly and people with asthma are well documented. "Good up high; bad nearby" is the EPA's description of ozone - the ozone layer of the Earth's atmosphere protects us from UV radiation from space, but down where we breathe, it damages lungs and destroys crops and ecosystems.

Typically, the effect of smoke on ozone levels is studied on a "plume-by-plume basis," Fischer explained. "A wildfire will be burning and someone will take an aircraft, like the NSF/NCAR C-130 or the NASA DC-8, fly around in it, and take measurements. What Steve did was take ground-level data ... to look nationwide, not just at one fire or one plume, but every ground site from 2005 to 2014."

Predicting the relationship of ozone and wildfire smoke requires an understanding of nonlinear ozone chemistry, which is tricky. In the past, some individually analyzed smoke plumes have been linked to a dramatic production of ozone, Fischer said, but others have seen ozone production actually suppressed within wildfire smoke.

Whether and how much ozone is produced is influenced by many fleeting factors. To make ozone, you need volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide and sunlight, interactions that can be determined by the amount of those chemicals in the air, how much sunlight is getting through the smoke, how hot the fire is burning, what is burning, and other variables. And smoke moves, disperses and becomes dilute over time. It's really hard to determine how all these factors work together to make, or not make, ozone.

Brey gathered data from 2005-2014 from the NOAA Hazard Mapping System, which uses satellites to visually track smoke plumes from areas of open burning. Armed with that data, Brey compared ozone levels on days when smoke was present with days when smoke wasn't present, and built an expected value of ozone levels for those days. Taken together, on the smoky days, ozone levels were higher.

That effect was marked around certain areas in particular: the Northeast corridor, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Kansas City. "Which is not what you'd expect," Fischer said, because wildfires don't necessarily burn near cities. But the data indicate that as the smoke plumes travel, higher levels of ozone can be more often expected in urban than in rural areas.

That observation hints that wildfire smoke interacts with pollutants in urban air to create ozone. The data support the hypothesis, but a definitive claim can't be made yet.

With climate change predicted to increase overall temperatures and thus the intensity and frequency and wildfires, the study points to more questions about how smoke will affect ozone levels going forward.

Fischer and Brey will continue studying wildfire effects, in collaboration with other CSU researchers, with particular concern for human health effects.

Research paper: Smoke in the City: How Often and Where Does Smoke Impact Summertime Ozone in the United States?

.


Related Links
Colorado State University
All about the Ozone Layer






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
OZONE NEWS
Some chemicals less damaging to ozone layer but degrade into greenhous
Washington DC (SPX) Nov 09, 2015
Some substitutes for ozone-damaging chemicals being phased out worldwide under international agreements are themselves potent greenhouse gases and contribute to warming. Now, a new study published Nov. 2 in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union, shows for the first time how some of those replacement chemicals can break down in the atmosphere to form a gree ... read more


OZONE NEWS
Audi joins Google Lunar XPrize competition

Lunar mission moves a step closer

Momentum builds for creation of 'moon villages'

Chang'e-3 landing site named "Guang Han Gong"

OZONE NEWS
Rover uses Rock Abrasion Tool to grind rocks

Thales Alenia Space to supply reaction control subsystem for ExoMars

Money troubles may delay Europe-Russia Mars mission

Opportunity Welcomes Winter Solstice

OZONE NEWS
Arab nations eye China, domestic market to revive tourism

Zinnias from space

Engineers Mark Completion of Orion's Pressure Vessel

Newcomer Sierra Nevada to supply ISS alongside SpaceX, Orbital: NASA

OZONE NEWS
China aims for the Moon with new rockets

China shoots for first landing on far side of the moon

Chinese Long March 3B to launch Belintersat-1 telco sat for Belarus

China Plans More Than 20 Space Launches in 2016

OZONE NEWS
Japanese astronaut learned Russian to link two nations

NASA, Texas Instruments Launch mISSion imaginaTIon

Water in US astronaut's helmet cuts short Briton's 1st spacewalk

Roscosmos prepares to launch first manned Soyuz MS

OZONE NEWS
Ariane 5 is readied for an Arianespace leading customer Intelsat

EpicNG satellite installed on Ariane 5 for launch

Building a robust commercial market in low earth orbit

NASA awards ISS cargo transport contracts

OZONE NEWS
Follow A Live Planet Hunt

Lab discovery gives glimpse of conditions found on other planets

Nearby star hosts closest alien planet in the 'habitable zone'

ALMA reveals planetary construction sites

OZONE NEWS
Research reveals mechanism for direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide

New insights into the supercritical state of water

Gloop from the deep sea

Material may offer cheaper alternative to smart windows




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.