Claim: Climate change threatens to worsen U.S. ozone pollution

Smoggy skies in Los Angeles as viewed from the Getty Museum

Visible pollutants can react with sunlight to create invisible ozone pollution, which frequently reaches unhealthy levels in major cities like Los Angeles. New research indicates that the pollution may worsen in coming decades due to chemical reactions in the air associated with climate change. (Wikimedia photo by Thomas.)

From UCAR:  BOULDER—Ozone pollution across the continental United States will become far more difficult to keep in check as temperatures rise, according to new research led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The detailed study shows that Americans face the risk of a 70 percent increase in unhealthy summertime ozone levels by 2050.

This is because warmer temperatures and other changes in the atmosphere related to a changing climate, including higher atmospheric levels of methane, spur chemical reactions that lead to ozone.

Unless emissions of specific pollutants that are associated with the formation of ozone are sharply cut, almost all of the continental United States will experience at least a few days with unhealthy air during the summers, the research shows. Heavily polluted locations in parts of the East, Midwest, and West Coast in which ozone already frequently exceeds recommended levels could face unhealthy air during most of the summer.

“It doesn’t matter where you are in the United States—climate change has the potential to make your air worse,” said NCAR scientist Gabriele Pfister, the lead author of the new study. “A warming planet doesn’t just mean rising temperatures, it also means risking more summertime pollution and the health impacts that come with it.”

However, the research also showed that a sharp reduction in the emissions of certain pollutants would lead to dramatically decreased levels of ozone even as temperatures warm.

The detailed research is one of the first of its type to be conducted with new, highly advanced geoscience supercomputing capabilities. It will be published online this week in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

The work was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is NCAR’s sponsor, and the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition to NCAR, the study co-authors are from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; University of Colorado, Boulder; and North-West University in South Africa.

Ozone and heat

Ozone pollution is not emitted directly, but instead forms as a result of chemical reactions that take place between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight. These gases come from human activities such as combustion of coal and oil as well as natural sources such as emissions from plants.

Unlike ozone in the stratosphere, which benefits life on Earth by blocking ultraviolet radiation from the Sun, ground-level ozone can trigger a number of health problems. These range from coughing and throat irritation to more serious problems, including aggravation of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Even short periods of unhealthy ozone levels can cause local death rates to rise. Ozone pollution also damages crops and other plants.

To examine the impacts of climate change on ozone pollution, Pfister and her colleagues looked at two scenarios. In one, emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds from human activities would continue at current levels through 2050. In the other, emissions would be cut by 60-70 percent. Both scenarios assumed continued greenhouse gas emissions with significant warming.

The researchers found that, if emissions continue at present-day rates, the number of eight-hour periods in which ozone would exceed 75 parts per billion (ppb) would jump by 70 percent on average across the United States by 2050. The 75 ppb level over eight hours is the threshold that is considered unhealthy by the Environmental Protection Agency. (The agency is considering tightening the standard to a value between 65 and 70 ppb over eight hours.)

Overall, the study found that, 90 percent of the time, ozone levels would range from 30 to 87 ppb in 2050 compared with an estimated 31 to 79 ppb in the present. Although the range itself shifts only slightly, the result is a much larger number of days above the threshold now considered unhealthy.

There are three primary reasons for the increase in ozone with climate change:

  • Chemical reactions in the atmosphere that produce ozone occur more rapidly at higher temperatures.
  • Plants emit more volatile organic compounds at higher temperatures, which can increase ozone formation if mixed with pollutants from human sources.
  • Methane, which is increasing in the atmosphere, contributes to increased ozone globally and will enhance baseline levels of surface ozone across the United States.

In the second scenario, Pfister and her colleagues found that sharp reductions in nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds could reduce ozone pollution even as the climate warms. In fact, 90 percent of the time, ozone levels would range from 27 to 55 ppb. The number of instances when ozone pollution would exceed the 75 ppb level dropped to less than 1 percent of current cases.

“Our work confirms that reducing emissions of ozone precursors would have an enormous effect on the air we all breathe,” Pfister said.

Pfister and a nationwide scientific team expect to learn more about the sources, chemistry, and movement of air pollutants this summer when they launch a major field experiment known as FRAPPÉ along Colorado’s Front Range.

The role of supercomputing

The new study was among the first conducted on the new 1.5-petaflop Yellowstone supercomputer. The IBM system, operated by NCAR and supported by funding from the NSF and the University of Wyoming, is one of the world’s most powerful computers specifically dedicated to research in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Thanks to its computing power, the scientists were able to simulate pollution levels hour by hour for 39 hypothetical summers. This allowed the team to account for year-to-year variations in meteorological conditions, such as hot and dry vs. cool and wet, thereby getting a more detailed and statistically significant picture of future pollution levels.

To simulate the interplay of global climate with regional pollution conditions, the scientists turned to two of the world’s leading atmospheric models, both based at NCAR and developed through broad collaborations with the atmospheric science community. They used the Community Earth System Model, funded primarily by the Department of Energy and NSF, to simulate global climate as well as atmospheric chemistry conditions. They also used an air chemistry version of the multiagency Weather Research and Forecasting model to obtain a more detailed picture of regional ozone levels.

Even with Yellowstone’s advanced computing speed, it took months to complete the complex simulations.

“This research would not have been possible even just a couple of years ago,” said Pfister. “Without the new computing power made possible by Yellowstone, you cannot depict the necessary detail of future changes in air chemistry over small areas, including the urban centers where most Americans live.”

 

About these ads

68 thoughts on “Claim: Climate change threatens to worsen U.S. ozone pollution

  1. “Both scenarios assumed … significant warming….” So start with the answer you want, and build a computer model that proves it. Nice work. Well worth the investment.

  2. The 75 ppb level over eight hours is the threshold that is considered unhealthy by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    We can adapt to higher levels of ozone.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8998953

    Adaptation was induced by exposure to 0.25 ppm O3, 12 hr/day for 6 or 14 weeks and evaluated with a challenge test, one that reexposed rats to 1.0 ppm O3 and measured attenuation in the O3 effect on frequency of breathing…

    I know that the solution is far for ideal, but taking vitamin C will help.

    http://respiratory-research.com/content/14/1/14

    Eat your broccoli or your orange.

  3. Tricky stuff, modeling even simple chemical reactions in a flask by computer. Doing it for the atmosphere on a planetary scale for half a century or so, plus all the changes that might happen due to the sun and biosphere….well that’s quite a bonus isn’t it.

    My eyes just rolled out of their sockets again.

  4. Althogh this question is simplistic – it might nt be relevant if there is catalysis, for example – chemists are taught that most chemical reactions run faster with higher reaction temperature.
    Now, the ozone described above does not hang around forever. There is a chemical reaction, possibly several, that destroys it.
    Why is the chemistry that makes the formation reactions run faster, diffrrent from the chemistry that should make the destruction chemistry correspondingly faster, for no change?
    More importantly, do the authors study the possibility of induced reactions that could hasten the destruction? Like, what happens if you use freon type chemicals for active mitigation? Or have these been found to work only way up in the sky, not around the LA skyscrapers?
    This whole ozone story has been told quite poorly. One suspects that is because big gaps of understanding remain.

  5. Why is it asserted above that ozone close to the ground does not block UV radiation from the Sun, but stratospheric ozone does? Good things, supercomputers. Re-writing light absorption phyics, no less?

  6. …it’s like the thousands of Global Warming studies on what will happen to this ecosystem or that species under a 4C warming of the Earth because nobody is disputing those findings.
    The dispute is with the preposterous “science” touting the 4c of warming.

  7. If your model is rubbish a bigger computer just gets you to the wrong answer faster.

  8. Google “ozone hole” for claims the DEPLETION of ozone will lead to catastrophic effects, which is why production of CFCs was limited by international agreements. Now we are warned about the catastrophic effects of TOO MUCH ozone.

    Give a kid a toy hammer and everything starts to look like a nail – give an environmentalist a computer model, and everything starts to look like an environmental disaster.

  9. Michael Hart said: My eyes just rolled out of their sockets again ….

    And the researchers here are well positioned for a grant renewal and more funding. Go figure.

  10. I am personally very frustrated by the unintended consequence of CAGW funding exemplified by this story: “The new study was among the first conducted on the new 1.5-petaflop Yellowstone supercomputer. The IBM system, operated by NCAR and supported by funding from the NSF and the University of Wyoming, is one of the world’s most powerful computers specifically dedicated to research in the atmospheric and related sciences.”

    Back of the envelope calculations would agree that all things being equal, warmer temperatures lead to more ozone air pollution and that reductions of precursor emissions will reduce ambient concentrations. All this study did was quantify those conclusions a bit better, maybe.

    Meanwhile, a powerful new weather supercomputer, funded over a year ago by the U.S. Congress, has not even been ordered, even though it could radically improve U.S. operational weather prediction (http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-us-slips-to-fourth-place-in-global.html). While I cannot provide a reference I am positive that EPA and State ozone air quality modeling is not using as advanced a computer to determine how best to implement reductions of precursor emissions to reduce ambient concentrations.

    Two projects that could provide immediate tangible benefits wither while consensus scientists feast at the CAGW trough of funding to provide obvious but speculative research. Yet another reason that there is little reason to question the consensus amongst the climate scientists.

  11. I can tell everyone here from first hand experience during LA in smog alerts, breathing high levels of smog-ozone caused my eyes to burn and lung breathing tightness like I’d never experienced before during strenuous outdoor activities, i.e. running. I am just thankful I don’t live in SoCal. Was it just ozone or the other nasty stuff in the air? The medical physiology research says it is ozone that causes the airways to restrict. But elevated ozone is a product of excess nitric oxides and sunlight. A few degrees more of temp one day to next won’t be a significant as simply cleaning up the combustion fuels that puts the nitric oxides there in the first place. The reactions are:
    NO2 + hv –> NO + O
    O + O2 + M –> O3

    where M is a metal catalyst, and hv is for wavelengths shorter than 424nm (blue, violet).

    So decreasing the buildup of nitrogen oxides in the troposphere will go orders of magnitude further in reducing surface ozone, than will a couple of degrees C.

  12. Our work confirms that reducing emissions of ozone precursors would have an enormous effect on the air we all breathe,” Pfister said

    Do they really need a supercomputer to state the obvious.

  13. during LA in smog alerts, breathing high levels of smog-ozone caused my eyes to burn and lung breathing tightness like I’d never experienced before during strenuous outdoor activities, i.e. running.

    Aiming for a Darwin?

  14. Maybe they did not get “The Memo”. The global temperature has not statistically increased for the last 17+ years. Either 1) the heat increase they “think” they see is local variability or from UHI effect. Or 2) suggested/predicted by models and not supported/validated by observational data. In either case, their extrapolation is meaningless. Nice picture of a city covered in smog, thus UHI effect fully evident…

  15. Apparently, it will also make baking cakes easier and harder at the same time, it will make buses run both early and late at the same time, amazingly more and less people will go to the cinema…

    There is nothing it cannot do!

  16. rogercaiazza says:
    May 6, 2014 at 2:11 am

    All this study did was quantify those conclusions a bit better, maybe.

    A computer simulation of unknown accuracy can’t quantify. That requires data.

  17. How to write a climate alarm paper:

    (theoretical danger) will become more common as the climate warms, according to a new study by (“prestigious” climate reasearcher(s)). The new study demonstrates (horrible catastrophe) will occur by (date far enough that everyone will be dead before it happens, but near enough that we’ll worry about our kids).

    This is because (theoretical catastrophic event) becomes more likely as the climate continues to warm, all due to human emissions of the dread gas CO2. Plants won’t save you. Nothing will save you. Except possibly funding further research by us, and only us.

    (Add twisted definition of something that is extremely improbable but sounds potentially plausible when placed in the context of an impossibly warmer climate)

    This important and earth-changing research was done at the (“prestigious” climate reasearch location, or one that wants to be) using the (insanely expensive data processing resources that would be far better used elsewhere).

  18. So what has happened to the frequency of “coughing and throat irritation to more serious problems, including aggravation of asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema”, during the last 17 yrs 8 months of no warming but increasing combustion of organic products? I personally have noticed no difference, but I wasn’t looking very hard..

  19. @mwhite

    You’re missing the point. The new supercomputer represents a new ‘authority’ to appeal to.

    The message is “if it took such massive computing power, our model must be sophisticated, so how can we possibly be wrong?”

    If these were honest researchers, they wouldn’t need to drag the supercomputer into the story to shore up their predictions.

  20. We need to run an experiment. Take the ‘pollutants’ that create ozone and put them in a box with the ones that destroy ozone – let’s see which team wins! :)
    Seriously, most ozone is created by UV-B and UV-C (stratosphere) as well as lightning (troposphere), using dioxygen (found at about 20,000 ppm in air).
    They are fretting over ozone levels of 0.075 ppm.

  21. Less Climate change, more Obama’s end goals. Which are to move everyone into urban areas (to better control them). Pack more people into smaller areas, and regardless of the temperature, pollution will increase.

  22. Every electric appliance generates higher than ambient heat. Every light fitting, electric motor, industrial process. Every gas appliance and (shudder) solar panels and windmills. We’re doomed with every breath we take.

  23. Another “Given global warming, then . . . .” study.

    The magic in computing comes from designing programs. Not the size of the computer. Large computers are a crutch, not a solution, though the uninitiated are impressed.

  24. Governments should legislate that everyone should keep their body temperature below 30C

  25. China is expanding infrastructure such as roads, railways and telecom services in EthIopia. These are things the population can see , touch and use.

    US Aid is promoting removing “constraints to growth”, transforming public health, increasing opportunities for women and youth, responding to humanitarian emergencies while “building resilience to future crises”, and promoting “low-emissions growth and sustainable development”.
    How many Ethiopians give a rat’s behind about low-emissions growth when they have no roads. How many even know about low-emissions?

    800,000 people left the US work force last month because they gave up trying to find a job. The White house is happy because they can now promote a drop in the unemployment percentage. . Where is the sustainable development in the US.

    The US is trying to tell Africa to remove constraints to growth yet they block the pipeline that will bring thousands of construction jobs for political reasons. They would rather move oil in rail cars thru cites like the one that derailed last week and exploded next to a river . Anyone see Neil Young in Virginia last week.

    STOP THE MADNESS!

  26. They are now calling running a computer model “research.” Also note the inference that a supercomputer means more accurate results.

  27. I love the smell of Ozone in the air – especially after a few close lightning strikes.

    Spend a few days somewhere where a bushfire has raged and find out what real pollution does to your eyes, nose and lungs.

  28. Alex says:
    May 6, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Every electric appliance generates higher than ambient heat. Every light fitting, electric motor, industrial process. Every gas appliance and (shudder) solar panels and windmills. We’re doomed with every breath we take.
    ===================================================================
    Models built on models built on fear. Warmism is a stalker.

    I’ll be Watching You / Sting:
    Every breath you take
    And every move you make
    Every bond you break
    Every step you take
    Ill be watching you

    Every single day
    And every word you say
    Every game you play
    Every night you stay
    Ill be watching you

    Oh, cant you see
    You belong to me
    Now my poor heart aches
    With every step you take

  29. to Coach Springer
    one of my favorites from Sting. Unfortunately he has gone ‘weird’ the last few years (albums).
    Sigh!

  30. “The detailed research is one of the first of its type to be conducted with new, highly advanced geoscience supercomputing capabilities”

    WOW, Holy Mary Poppins supercalifraglistic supercomputers!!! (They must be right)

  31. I challange them to use their super models to show that decreasing CO2 emissions in the U.S. to1990 levels will reduce summer time temperatures and smog in those smog prone cities. Suggesting that by reducing ozone levels in those cities will reduce health effects is stretching it. The ozone standards have been “improved” in the past but it hasn’t significantly improved the health of asthma sufferers. The visible ingredient in smog is sulfuric acid aerosol I think that ingredient causes the health effects that are statistically asociated with ozone as a proxie.

  32. ‘The new study was among the first conducted on the new 1.5-petaflop Yellowstone supercomputer.’

    Hmm, should’ve used that computer to set up the Obamacare exchanges, eh?

    Seriously though, nothing, nothing gets me more angry then when these non-medical, sell your soul for a government grant, quasi scientists have the unmitigated audacity to suggest to people with lung conditions that they know what’s best for them. People with lung conditions do not go outside on bad days. They need their air conditioning. Repeat; they need their air conditioning. And, since they may be living on fixed retirement incomes or Social Security checks they need that AC to be affordable. Unaffordable AC (such as this kind of bogus, self serving research will entail) is a death sentence for these people. Nothing will be more damaging to health than unaffordable electrical rates. So, it’s about time we tell these bogus charlatans to get off their high horse.

  33. What really makes the air I breathe bad are smokers. Walking by them outside or anyplace, it stinks. Cut those emissions. Then, stop worshiping the Earth.

  34. to Tom J
    These people will tell you that AC lowers the air temperature thereby justifying what they say. They won’t mention the fact that ACs remove contaminants from the air through filtration etc. You can’t win with fanatics.

  35. Anything to distract the voters from the economy.

    Isn’t air pollution more likely to go up as a result of more people more than anything else?

    How about traffic jams? Surely it cannot improve air pollution to have hundreds of thousands of cars spending hours at 0-5mph rather than minutes at 55mph. Not to mention the economic cost or people twiddling their thumbs instead of doing something productive.

    Why doesn’t the EPA simply pass an air quality law making traffic jams illegal? Million dollar fine for anyone involved in a traffic jam. This would significantly improve air quality and clear up traffic jams overnight. The fines could be used to pay down the debt. Win-win all around.

  36. I had a thought earlier. The EPA wouldn’t pass a human being if it was classified as a machine.

  37. Here is another study that ignores the reality that there is no warming. There has been none for 17 years now and there will be none im 2050. That is because the present absence of warming has already proved that the greenhouse theory based on Arrhenius, the one the IPCC uses, is simply wrong, invalid. It cannot explain this pause. The only theory that can explain it is the Miskolczi greenhouse theory (MGT). According to Miskolczi, the explanation of why increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide cannot cause the enhanced greenhouse effect that these guys, the IPCC and Hansen, all expect is the behavior of atmospheric water vapor. He shows that when carbon dioxide and water vapor both simultaneously absorb in the IR there exists a joint optimum absorption window characterized by an IR optical thickness of 1.87. If you add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere it will start to absorb and increase optical thickness. But as soon as this happens water vapor will starts to diminish, rain out, and the optimum optical thickness is restored. This is the reason why we have the pause-hiatus now and this is why it will continue indefinitely.

  38. I call a big fat BS on this study. I just took a look at the US government’s own figures for Ozone. Ozone levels have been falling as temperature has been increasing. This study if 100% unadulterated, computer generated crap.

    http://www.epa.gov/region1/airquality/graph.html

    Mods, the above graph should be included in the article as a rebuttal to the study. While this graph is only for region 1, I expect other readers can find graphs for the other regions. The trend is very clear. Ozone levels are falling while temperatures are rising.

    Isn’t it time that researchers came out from behind their computers and studied the real world data?

  39. The list of VOC Exempt compounds is quite long and mainly contains halogenated organics, most of which are banned for reasons other than ozone formation. But top of the list is Methane.

    http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/emon/vocs/vocproj/2voc_exempt_list.pdf

    “This is because warmer temperatures and other changes in the atmosphere related to a changing climate, including higher atmospheric levels of methane, spur chemical reactions that lead to ozone.”

    Methane, although a hydrocarbon, is relatively unreactive towards ozone formation as methane cannot easily form a stable radical. formation of CH3 radical is thermodynamically not favored. Branched chain hydrocarbon and especially aromatic hydrocarbons form more stable radicals and thus participate in ozone formation more readily. So I think including methane in this list is just inflammatory talk trying to bring more attention to methane released from fracking (if this is even significant).

    Having grown up on LA in the 60’s and 70’s, I know what ozone is. 180 days of ozone non-attainment in 1970 was normal. But by 2002, due to simple catalytic converters and fuel injection, ozone non-attainment days dropped to 11 although the population doubled and the ozone standard was cut in half by then. It has risen due to much higher population, but vehicular miles traveled has increased markedly as people move to the desert to find affordable housing.

  40. This ‘study’ makes a pretty good case for the re-introduction of cfc’s to counter the ozone. Personal experience with inhalers that help patients with lung problems were generally more effective with cfc propellants vs methane (the current common propellant).

  41. to ferd berple
    totally agree. By eye the slope for temperature is zero but the slope for ozone (both standards) shows a decrease. It doesn’t appear that temperature affects the ozone level. There are other factors involved.

  42. From 1987 archives: CLEAN AIR WORKING GROUP STATEMENT ON OZONE NONATTAINMENT

    Ozone is formed when hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions react in sunlight. Ozone is primarily controlled by reducing hydrocarbon emissions. (page 2)

    So it would appear that sunlight, not warming is the key factor in O3 production. Apparently the folks at Bolder have made the mistake of confusing sunlight with warming. Likely because things get warmer when there is more sunlight. The failed to notice that the driver was sunlight, not warming.

    http://digitalcollections.library.cmu.edu/awweb/awarchive?type=file&item=438539

  43. ferd
    it refers to pollutants ‘somewhere’ in LA county. Doublespeak. I could refer to high methane levels somewhere in LA county without specifying that it was measured around a sewerage plant.

  44. The date of 2050 seems to be the safe and convenient benchmark for all catastrophic climate predictions. The median age of the authors being, say, 40 would make them well and truly retired on super (plus grants).
    Or having passed from the living state to being no longer alive – or accountable.

  45. The EPA is the kind of organisation that would legislate CO2 to zero ppm. Then they would legislate for increases in CO2 because everything is dying. You can never win with these people. The only cure for stupidity is death. I don’t know who said that, but it has stuck in my mind.

  46. I would like to see the errors associated with their simulations. The low end had nearly identical ozone levels and the high end is about a 10% increase. Are the numbers +/- 5%? That would say they are not really sure if they will go up. Of course, in a simulation, they can artificially make the error bars smaller by assuming tiny errors in most of their calculations. They probably have some in the paper. If so, it would be good to include those above.

  47. to Tim
    I miss the good old days. When a witchdoctor or emperor said something and it didn’t come true in 5 years they ended up with their head on a spike.

  48. to Bill_W
    you don’t get error bars in simulations-they are perfect. You only get error bars with measurements. Foolish person

  49. “””””…..Visible pollutants can react with sunlight to create invisible ozone pollution, which frequently reaches unhealthy levels in major cities like Los Angeles. New research indicates that the pollution may worsen in coming decades due to chemical reactions in the air associated with climate change. (Wikimedia photo by Thomas.)…..”””””

    “Visible pollutants, (brown oxygen in this photo) combine with sunlight (solar UV or “black light) to create invisible (except at 9.6 micron LWIR) Ozone; which we need to fill the ozone hole so the solar black light doesn’t get us ??

  50. “””””…..tadchem says:

    May 6, 2014 at 4:35 am

    We need to run an experiment. …..””””

    Slipped a cog there tad; it’s 200,000 ppm, not 20,000.

  51. just a mere layman here and i havent read the report or the comments yet, but one thing bothers about this ozone warning stuff…..they keep saying on TV that driving cars CAUSES the ground level ozone, and i always wonder since we do drive cars year round why it is that cars only “cause” the ozone on the hottest days of summer??? why not in winter?????

    POINT = even i understand it is the HEAT that causes the ozone to form NOT driving cars.

  52. ferd berple says:
    May 6, 2014 at 6:49 am

    All other things being equal, reduced ozone levels could be a proxy for reduced anti-cyclonic weather.

  53. I’ve read through and I find something quite missing.

    O2 + UV ~ catalyzed on titanium dioxide -> O3 You don’t need NO, CH4, NH3 or anything else.

    How about coating a few million acres of east, south, and west faces of buildings with TiO2 and exposing it to sunlight? ICYDK: TiO2 is the white pigment of choice in paints and metal anodizing.

  54. Even with Yellowstone’s advanced computing speed, it took months to complete the complex simulations.

    And from the ‘way-back’ memory machine “Measuring 108,000 square feet in total with 15,000-20,000 square feet of raised floor, it will be built for 8 megawatts of power, with 4-5 megawatts for computing and 3-4 for cooling.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/16/wyoming-experiences-that-giant-sucking-sound-as-new-coal-fired-climate-supercomputer-is-turned-on/

    So this little run took 8MW-+months of coal fired power = how big a carbon footprint.

    The 75 ppb level over eight hours is the threshold that is considered unhealthy by the Environmental Protection Agency. (The agency is considering tightening the standard to a value between 65 and 70 ppb over eight hours.)

    Anti-spin translation – 75 ppb is the threshold we now consider because we were not getting to raise enough alerts with the prior level. We want to keep lowering the rate so we will be able to scream and wave the alarm flags and keep our job.

  55. DD More says:
    May 6, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Let’s be generous and say ‘months’ is 60 days. The power consumed on the project would be 11.52GWh @ ~ $170/MWh = ~$2M

    Do taxpayers think it was $2M well spent on ‘confirming’ the obvious?

  56. A number of interesting questions here

    “We need to run an experiment. Take the ‘pollutants’ that create ozone and put them in a box with the ones that destroy ozone – let’s see which team wins! :)”

    Yep, these are called smog chambers. Some are quite large. Just google the name. and look at the images.

  57. Another

    “Tricky stuff, modeling even simple chemical reactions in a flask by computer. Doing it for the atmosphere on a planetary scale for half a century or so, plus all the changes that might happen due to the sun and biosphere….well that’s quite a bonus isn’t it.”

    The kind of modeling described here is on a much smaller geographical level, maybe something like Denver or the LA basin.

  58. Just a note: Pine trees are the leading cause ofozone exceedances in many areas. The only solution is logging.

Comments are closed.