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Open AccessArticle

Pillars of Solution for the Problem of Winter PM2.5 Variability in Fresno—Effects of Local Meteorology and Emissions

1
Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA
2
Department of Physics, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX 79968, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(3), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11030312
Received: 24 February 2020 / Revised: 16 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 23 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Atmospheric Aerosols in North America)
The mass composition of Particulate Matter (PM) with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in San Joaquin Valley (SJV) is dominated by ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3), a secondary pollutant. The goal of this research was the investigation of the relationship between emissions, meteorology and PM2.5 concentrations in Fresno for the winter season. It was found that location of sites near emission sources such as freeways compared with residential sites strongly affected measured PM2.5 concentrations. It was found that although long-term trends showed declines in both emissions and PM2.5 concentrations, there was substantial variability between the years in the PM2.5–emissions relationship. Much of the yearly variation in the relationship between emissions and PM2.5 concentrations can be attributed to yearly variations in weather, such as atmospheric stability, precipitation frequency and average wind speed. There are moderate correlations between PM2.5 concentrations and temperature differences between nearby surface stations at varying elevations which explains some of the daily and seasonal variation in PM2.5. Occurrence of precipitation was related to low PM 2.5, although the higher wind speeds and lower atmospheric stability associated with precipitation likely explain some of the low PM2.5 as well as washout of PM. View Full-Text
Keywords: air pollution; PM2.5; SJV; winter; stability; meteorology air pollution; PM2.5; SJV; winter; stability; meteorology
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Karandana Gamalathge, T.D.; Green, M.C.; Stockwell, W.R. Pillars of Solution for the Problem of Winter PM2.5 Variability in Fresno—Effects of Local Meteorology and Emissions. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 312.

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