Energy efficiency and the environment: Innovative ways to improve air quality in the Los Angeles Basin
Description: This paper focuses on novel, innovative approaches for reducing or delaying the production of photochemical smog in the Los Angeles Basin. These approaches include modifying the surface characteristics of the basin by increasing surface albedo and an extensive tree-planting program. The changes in surface conditions are designed to reduce the basin air temperatures, especially during the summer months, which will result in two possible effects. First, a decrease in temperature would lead to a reduction in energy use with an associated decline in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NO[sub x]) and a lowering of evaporative emission of reactive organic gases. Reductions in these smog precursors could improve the air quality of the basin without imposing additional emissions regulations. The second effect is associated with the possible causal relationship between air temperature and smog formation (i.e., lower temperatures and lower incidence of smog). Since this approach to mitigating air emissions is broad, the studies to date have concentrated on how changes in surface characteristics affect the meteorological conditions of the basin and on how these meteorological changes subsequently affect smog production. A geographic information system database of key surface characteristics (i.e., vegetative cover, albedo, moisture availability, and roughness) was compiled, and these characteristics were evaluated using prognostic meteorological models. The results of two- and three-dimensional meteorological simulations will be presented and discussed in this paper.
Date: February 1, 1993
Creator: Ritschard, R.
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