LBNL Report Number
Previous atmospheric modeling efforts that concentrated on the Los Angeles Basin suggested beneficial and significant air quality impacts from cool cities strategies. This paper discusses an extension of similar modeling efforts to three regions, Atlanta GA, Dallas - Ft. Worth TX, and Nashville TN, that experience smog and air quality problems. According to the older ozone air quality standard (120 ppb), these regions were classified as serious, moderate, and marginal, respectively, but may be out of compliance with respect to the newer, 80-ppb/8-hours standard.
Results from this exploratory modeling work suggest a range of possible impacts on meteorological and air quality conditions. For example, peak ozone concentrations during each region's respective episode could be decreased by 1-6 ppb (conservative and optimistic scenarios, respectively) in Nashville, 5-15 ppb in Dallas - Fort Worth, and 5-12 ppb in Atlanta following implementation of cool cities. The reductions are generally smaller than those obtained from simulating the Los Angeles Basin but are still significant. In all regions, the simulations suggest, the net, domain-wide effects of cool cities are reductions in ozone mass and improvements in air quality. In Atlanta, Nashville, and Dallas, urban areas benefiting from reduced smog reach up to 8460, 7350, and 12870 km2 in area, respectively.
Results presented in this paper should be taken as exploratory and preliminary. These will most likely change during a more comprehensive modeling study to be started soon with the support of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The main purpose of the present project was to obtain the initial data (emission inventories) for these regions, simulate meteorological conditions, and perform preliminary sensitivity analysis. In the future, additional regions will be simulated to assess the potential of cool cities in improving urban air quality.