Faculty researchers at North Carolina A&T State University are part of a national air pollution research consortium which has discovered that some pollutants are slower to dissipate in colder temperatures and that federal emissions policy may need to be adapted to adjust in order to prevent lower air quality.
According to a release, NCA&T faculty members Solomon Bililign and Marc N. Fiddler, and doctoral student Jaime Green represented the school’s Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry research group in the national consortium which produced the 2015 Wintertime Investigation of Transport, Emissions, and Reactivity (WINTER) project, which sampled sampled industrial areas for throughout the United States’ eastern regions for nitrogen, oxides, volatile organic compounds, and other emissions.
From the release:
The study found that pollutants follow a different chemical path in the colder temperatures and that sulfur dioxide is slower to dissipate from the atmosphere during wintertime.
“The longer the lifetime, the longer it hangs around in the air, and the farther it can travel downwind,” Fiddler said. “If it doesn’t encounter any clouds, it can last up to a month and travel as far as Europe.”
North Carolina A&T was the sole HBCU in the National Science Foundation-funded consortium, joining the University of Washington, Georgia Tech, the University of Colorado-Boulder and Colorado State University over the six-week study.