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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Click for answer.Currently I am a chemistry major at a major university. In the future, I would like to work in the air pollution field. What area of study is better for a future career in air pollution and which area did people working in NOAA study in college?
  • Click for answer.What is the Air Resources Laboratory and what do you do?

Atmospheric Transport and Dispersion Modeling in General

  • Click for answer.What research is being conducted on the long-range atmospheric transport of pesticides in NOAA or other related organizations?
  • Click for answer.I would like to know what kind of research is done concerning air quality in New York City so far. Is there a permanent sampling of air quality parameters? Where are these stations located?
  • Click for answer.Many previous aerosol studies have used 850 and 750 mb pressure levels in back trajectory calculations. Why is this significant? Are surface back trajectory calculations (at 1000 mb) more accurate, due to presumably greater spatial resolution of meteorological data?
  • Click for answer.What is the definition of the boundary (or mixed) layer?
  • Click for answer.Is there is a way to calculate or predict how far a certain organic molecule will travel from an oil refinery on any given day? Are there any models or sites out there that could answer that question?
  • Click for answer.We want to use HYSPLIT to model both a Chlorine and an Ammonia spill. We have looked all over the internet for the Henry's Actual and Effective constants, as well as the surface reactivity and diffusivity ratios for both Chlorine and Ammonia. Do you know where we can find this information?

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Modeling Support Programs

  • Click for answer.What information is available on the CMAPF mapping function used by many of your programs?
  • Click for answer.I have been working with the C version of your emapf library and it has been of great use. I would like to clarify a question about the conversion of grid points to lat/lon and vice versa (in cxy2ll and cll2xy). When I use cxy2ll, are the lat/lons associated with the center of the grid box, the lower-left corner, or some other location?
  • Click for answer.Which way does the wind blow at the north pole?
  • Click for answer.Can you give me a brief history on the origins of latitude, longitude and the division of degrees into minute and seconds. How old is this system and who developed it?

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Climate - Humidity - Temperature

  • Click for answer.What is atmospheric humidity and how is it measured?
  • Click for answer.Where can I find a current emissions report on the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, nitris oxide, and methane?
  • Click for answer.I am a 7th Grade student and would like to know why is it always cold in Antarctica?
  • Click for answer.What information is available on how climate affects air quality and vice versa?
  • Click for answer.Why is it, for example, that at 27 degrees C in both Calgary, Canada and Osaka, Japan with a relative humidity of 60% one would barely perceive any humidity in the air in Calgary and yet one would feel very uncomforable and "wet" in Osaka?

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Air Quality - Pollen - Atmospheric Chemistry - Acid Rain

Acid Rain

  • Click for answer.What are the major pollutants found in acid rain? How much acid (percentage of total rain) would have to be present in rain for it to be considered: low-acidity rain, medium-acidity rain, and high-acidity rain; and what would be their respective pH levels?
  • Click for answer.Could you tell us the origin of the air that contributed to the rainfall sample we measured on 12/15/99 in Front Royal, Virginia?
  • Click for answer.Could you offer a detailed answer on why/how the nitrogen deposition from nitrate and ammonium is so high in the northeast states, lower in the midwest states and very low in the west. What is causing this atmospheric deposition condition?
  • Click for answer.My son, a 7th grader, is working on a science fair project that will hopefully show varying levels of acid rain in our county. Is the HYSPLIT trajectory model the best way to show wind current origins for rain falling on a given day, or is there another way to show this? Also, can you recommend any other sites/sources for middle school level research on acid rain effects, sources, detection, etc.?

Atmospheric Chemistry

  • Click for answer.How much carbon dioxide is there in non-urban and indoor air?
  • Click for answer.How much oxygen and carbon dioxide is there in the air we breath? Does it change with the seasons? Does it change with the location on our planet?
  • Click for answer.How can lead be removed from the air, especially related to exhaust gasses from internal combustion engines? Is there a chemical process that can accomplish this instead of filtration?
  • Click for answer.Does anyone monitor the levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in the air in Albuquerque, New Mexico? I need the data for my science fair project. If that is not available, is there a way I can calculate it through weather, etc. archives for the past month in Albuquerque NM, and where would I find that data?
  • Click for answer.What pollutants and how much are in the atmosphere?
  • Click for answer.Where can I find the latest research on aerosols?
  • Click for answer.Could you please provide me with Nitrogen Oxides content/index in the atmosphere from year 1950 to year 2000? Please include the industrial contribution numbers as well. Or could you please direct me to another link to obtain the information?
  • Click for answer.Is there a Comprehensive directory or guide that would include all organic or volatile organic chemicals and their compounds? Also, where can I find the concentrations of gaseous organic and inorganic substances in typical outdoor air. (April 2004)
  • Click 
	              		for answer.Do you have any historical data or "rule of thumb" information regarding the amount of salt (seasalt) contained in the moisture in the air around coastal areas?
  • Click for answer.Do you have a database or maps for SO2 emissions in all the world?

Air Quality

  • Click for answer.What cities do you suggest have the best air quality?
  • Click for answer.Do you have air quality information specific to a region other than the Chesapeake Bay?
  • Click for answer.What kind of impact does the air quality in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia have on my daughter and her asthma. I have the option of moving west of Charleston about 30 miles, out of the valley, and I wanted to see what kind of data there is to show the differences in air quality between South Charleston, WV and Milton, WV. Is there a way I can sample the air myself?


  • Click for answer.I am looking for historical data on pollen and mold counts and humidity data. Any information or websites you can direct me to will be greatly appreciated.
  • Click for answer.Is there any plans in the future to have a segment that tracks pollen/air particles on a daily basis for allergy sufferers?

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Modified: September 15, 2008
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