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  • Advanced Modeling System for Forecasting Regional Development, Travel Behavior, and the Spatial Pattern of Emissions
  • National Strategy for Environment and Health for the United Arab Emirates
  • Variable Grid Modeling
  • Storm surge prediction
  • Data Assimilation
  • Hemispheric CMAQ
  • Integrating satellite data with ground-based data
  • Effects of Climate Change on Human Health in North Carolina
  • Air Quality Impacts of Aviation Emissions
  • Air Quality Forecasting to Develop Guidance for Quantifying the Contribution of Airport Emissions to Local Air Quality

Advanced Modeling System for Forecasting Regional Development, Travel Behavior, and the Spatial Pattern of Emissions

Through simulation modeling of land use, transportation, emissions, and air quality, this project funded by the U.S. EPA will determine whether regional development patterns, and market and non-market policy instruments to influence such patterns, can significantly influence the spatial characteristics and quantity of emissions that contribute to tropospheric ozone and fine particulate matter. The fundamental goal of our research which is a joint effort between the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning, Center for Urban and Regional Studies, Institute for the Environment and North Carolina State University, is to rigorously test the hypothesis that alternative development patterns, over a planning horizon of 50 years, can significantly influence the quantity and location of direct and indirect emissions from mobile sources (and hence reduce the levels of tropospheric ozone and fine particulate matter (PM)). The development patterns of interest include the type of development (transit-oriented and dense mixed-use developments, and those supportive of non-motorized transportation modes for non-work trips, etc.) and its location (neo-traditional suburban, new urban core development, redevelopment, etc.). The enhanced link-based emissions inventories developed for Mecklenburg county, NC were then used in the MM5-SMOKE-CMAQ modeling system to study potential improvements in characterization of emissions and then air quality in the region.

Sponsored by: United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)


National Strategy for Environment and Health for the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

2-year project sponsored by the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi to provide a comprehensive environmental burden-of-disease assessment for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). CEMPD is conducting research for the ambient air quality component of this study. Our first air quality simulations using the WRF/SMOKE/CMAQ models are helping to quantify current concentrations of air pollutants in the UAE. Following this, we will continue to enhance and apply the models to provide a framework for informing policy and regulatory decisions regarding air quality in the UAE and the Middle East region.

Sponsored by: Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi


Variable Grid Modeling

An innovative air quality modeling technique that alleviates many of the shortcomings of the traditionally used nested regular-grid modeling approach, in particular related to biases near boundaries and the excessive computational requirements when using nested grids.

Models and Processes: SMOKE-VGR, MAQSIP-VGR, CMAQ-VGR

Sponsored by: United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)

OLAS Storm Surge Prediction Testbed


A real-time, event-triggered storm surge prediction system has been developed to assist emergency managers, policy-makers and other government officials with evacuation planning, decision-making and resource deployment during tropical storm landfall events. A rapid response assessment of hurricane threat is accomplished by driving the ADCIRC (Advanced Circulation) storm surge model with winds from an asymmetric gradient wind vortex model generated from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast advisories the moment they are inserted into the real-time weather data stream, thereby maximizing the number of hours of forecast utility.

LEAD – A New Approach for using Web Services, Computational Grids and Virtual Organizations in Mesoscale Meteorological Research and Forecasting

Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery (LEAD) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Large Information Technology Research (ITR) grant that has pioneered new approaches for integrating complex weather data, assimilation, modeling, data-mining, and cyberinfrastructure systems. By managing the complexity of inter-operative cyber tools and providing flexibility and ease in how they can be linked, LEAD allows users to focus their time on solving the science and engineering problems at hand, providing a means for more deeply understanding the tools and techniques being applied rather than the nuances of data formats, communication protocols, and job execution environments.

Sponsored by: National Science Foundation (NSF)


Hemispheric Air Quality Simulations With CMAQ

CEMPD is studying the possibility of doing hemispheric air quality simulations with CMAQ. The first part of this study is to apply the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF), Version 3, to a Northern Hemisphere (NH) domain. The reason for this study, is that current applications of CMAQ over North America as a limited geographic domain require lateral boundary conditions. Having WRF and CMAQ on the NH will provide a consistent set of boundary conditions for limited domain runs.

Sponsored by: United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)


Improving an Air Quality Decision Support System Through the Integration of Satellite Data with Ground-based, Emissions and Modeled Data

To improve air quality decision-making by local, regional, and national planners, this project is integrating key NASA satellite data to augment relevant databases, improve air quality simulation models, and enhance the analytical capabilities of the VIEWS/TSS decision support system used by Federal, regional, state, tribal, and local agencies. The CEMPD team is joined on this 3-year effort with the Cooperative Institute on Research in the Atmosphere, the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology at the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, and UNC’s Renaissance Computing Institute under funding from the NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES).

Sponsored by: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Effects of Climate Change on Human Health in North Carolina: Current and Future Impacts

CEMPD scientists are analyzing climate trends and the associated weather in terms of eight identified air-mass/weather types for a number of cities in North Carolina. We hypothesize that such air masses and the corresponding air quality conditions will have differing health impacts on humans, which can be quantified based on statistical analyses of the correlates among the meteorological, climate, air quality, and health data.

Sponsored by: United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)

Air Quality Impacts of Aviation Emissions

CEMPD is a member institution of PARTNER – Partnership for AiR Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction – a leading aviation cooperative research organization, and an FAA/NASA/Transport Canada-sponsored Center of Excellence. Under this project, CEMPD scientists are quantifying the potential incremental contribution of aviation emissions to air quality though their interaction with the background air. Towards this objective, we are developing and refining tools and analyses to model aviation emissions at multiple scales – from plume-scale to local-scale to regional-scale to study aviation impacts on air quality using state-of-the art modeling tools that incorporate one-atmosphere treatment for ozone, particulate matter and hazardous air pollutants. The research carried out under this project will exchange information with other PARTNER projects on emissions and health impacts.

Sponsored by: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Air Quality Forecasting to Develop Guidance for Quantifying the Contribution of Airport Emissions to Local Air Quality

Under funding from the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, CEMPD is developing a near real-time air quality forecast system for the Washington-Dulles International Airport using the WRF-SMOKE-CMAQ modeling system. The objective of this research project is to provide guidance for airport operators on effective tools and techniques for measuring airport contributions to ambient air quality. The research will evaluate existing and potential monitoring strategies and forecasting techniques that airport operators can use to measure airport-related air quality impacts on local jurisdictions that may exceed what is traditionally measured and modeled for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) purposes. The goal of the air quality forecast is to help with a multi-season field campaign at the Dulles airport to characterize the relative contribution of Dulles airport to local and regional air quality in comparison to non-airport emission sources, and evaluate the source-based and receptor-based modeling approaches with field measurements.

Sponsored by: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies