Friday, December 8, 2017
Most air pollution is measures at a city level, but air quality can change by block, as well as hour by hour and from day to day.
In order to better understand air quality on a more local level, Google Earth partnered with environmental sensor network firm Aclima to map air pollution across California, with the hopes of using the information to help build smarter, more sustainable cities.
They used Google Street View cars equipped with air quality sensors, and are now sharing some of their findings for the three California regions they've mapped: The San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and California's Central Valley.
In Los Angeles for example, the measurements indicate that traffic-chocked freeways, traffic on local streets and weather patterns that blow pollution inland all influence the patterns of air pollution.
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To conduct the analysis, the Street View cars drove 100,000 miles over the course of 4,000 hours for a three month period.
Google Earth says scientists and air quality specialists can use this information to help local organizations, governments and regulators in identifying opportunities to achieve greater air quality improvement and solutions
The findings for San Francisco show that compared to Los Angeles, it is a higher density city. A large percentage of air pollution emissions in San Francisco comes from vehicles like cars, trucks and construction equipment, and industrial sources like refineries and power plants
NO2 pollution map for the San Francisco Bay Area, the measurements indicate street-level pollution patterns are affected by local and distributed sources
The NO2 scale in the videos indicates pollution levels, with blue indicating low NO2 levels, and yellow indicating high NO2 levels. Pictured is an NO2 pollution map for the San Francisco bay Area
In addition, weather conditions and topography can trap air pollution between the coast and the Sierra Nevada mountains, leading to chronic ozone and particulate matter levels that exceed public health standards.
So far, Google Earth and Aclima have measures over one billion air quality data points, but the partners will conduct further measurements and now air quality scientists can request access to the data.
The partners hope that the data helps reduce climate changing greenhouse gases and improve air quality for healthier living.
NO2 pollution map for California's Central Valley region. The region is rural with agriculture, but it's also home to cities such as Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton and Modesto
NO2 pollution map for California's Central Valley region. Interstate 5 and Interstate 99 are two major traffic corridors that run through the region, connecting Northern and Southern California, and traffic on these interstate, along with regional traffic and industry and agriculture, are sources of air pollution in the r
Posted by ASC at 11:51 PM