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Recent changes in smoke/haze events in Phoenix, Arizona


The recent explosive population growth in Phoenix, Arizona is forcing policy-makers to develop an increased understanding of air quality meteorology in the desert setting. In this investigation, the long-term smoke/haze data base from Phoenix is analyzed to determine the magnitude of temporal changes in smoke/haze frequencies and durations. The results reveal no changes in smoke/haze frequency and intensity, but significant increases in the duration of these events. The findings appear to be related to the impact of the growing urban heat island on the structure of local inversion layers. The results suggest a link between urban-induced temperature and wind changes and air quality levels within a growing metropolitan area.


Das zuletzt explosive Bevölkerungswachstum in Phoenix/Arizona zwingt Politiker dazu, der Meteorologie der Luftbeschaffenheit im Wüstenraum gesteigerte Aufmerksamkeit zu widmen. In vorliegender Studie werden die Langzeitdaten von Rauch/Dunst in Phoenix analysiert, um das Ausmaß zeitlicher Veränderungen in Häufigkeit und Dauer des Auftretens von Rauch/Dunst zu bestimmen. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, daß sich zwar die Häufigkeit und Intensität von Rauch/Dunst nicht geändert haben; wohl aber die Dauer ihres Auftretens. Diese Ergebnisse scheinen auf einen Einfluß der wachsenden urbanen Wärmeinsel auf die Struktur der örtlichen Inversionsschichten hinzuweisen. Die Resultate lassen auf einen Zusammenhang zwischen städtisch bedingten Temperatur-und Windveränderungen und unterschiedlicher Luftqualität über wachsenden städtischen Ballungsräumen schließen.

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Brazel, A.J., Brazel, S.W. & Balling, R.C. Recent changes in smoke/haze events in Phoenix, Arizona. Theor Appl Climatol 39, 108–113 (1988).

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  • Climate Change
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