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Influence of Climate Change and Meteorological Factors on Houston’s Air Pollution: Ozone a Case Study

Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
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Academic Editor: Kimitaka Kawamura
Atmosphere 2015, 6(5), 623-640; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos6050623
Received: 3 April 2015 / Revised: 1 May 2015 / Accepted: 7 May 2015 / Published: 12 May 2015
We examined the past 23 years of ground-level O3 data and selected meteorological parameters in Houston, Texas, which historically has been one of the most polluted cities in the United States. Both 1-h and 8-h O3 exceedances have been reduced significantly down to single digit yearly occurrences. We also found that the frequency of southerly flow has increased by a factor of ~2.5 over the period 1990–2013, likely suppressing O3 photochemistry and leading to a “cleaner” Houston environment. The sea breeze was enhanced greatly from 1990 to 2013 due to increasing land surface temperatures, increased pressure gradients, and slightly stronger on-shore winds. These patterns driven by climate change produce a strengthening of the sea breeze, which should be a general result at locations worldwide. View Full-Text
Keywords: O3 mixing ratio; meteorological factors; southerly flow O3 mixing ratio; meteorological factors; southerly flow
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Liu, L.; Talbot, R.; Lan, X. Influence of Climate Change and Meteorological Factors on Houston’s Air Pollution: Ozone a Case Study. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 623-640.

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