The poor air quality in Fairbanks has been in hot discussion ever since the US Environmental Protection Agency tigthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for PM2.5. Because I performed various simulations on potential air quality control measures, the College, Alaska Rotary Club invited me to present my results in a lunch talk. See what to wear for a lunch talk and read why the city has the problem.
- Business Casual Outfit for Lunch Talk Presentation
- Fairbanks Has a History of Air Quality Problems
- The Lunch Topic Was the Poor Air Quality in Fairbanks in Winter
Business Casual Outfit for Lunch Talk Presentation
The College Rotary Club invited me to give a presentation on my air quality research as a 20 minutes lunch talk. The first photo in this post shows the business casual style outfit I wore to give my presentation. In the room, it was quite warm so I took my Burberry blazer off, and gave the talk in the classic cashmere sweater with skirt and pearls outfit. On my way to the club’s meeting place, I wore my Cole Han shearling motorcycle coat (last photo in this post) as it was pretty cold outside.
Fairbanks Has a History of Air Quality Problems
The air pollution problem is not new to Fairbanks. Since onset of the measurements in 1999, the PM2.5 concentrations frequently exceeded 35 microgram per meter cube. PM2.5 is particular matter of less than 2.5 micrometer in diameter. It is emitted from any combustion. In former times, Fairbanks high PM2.5 concentrations were not news worthy because the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) was 65 instead of 35 microgram per meter cube.
In earlier times, Fairbanks also had an air quality problem regarding carbon monoxide (CO). CO is emitted by cars. The tremendous technical improvement on the engines and mandatory emission tests solved this air quality problem over time.
The Lunch Topic Was the Poor Air Quality in Fairbanks in Winter
So, curious what I presented? Probably you have heard in the national news that Fairbanks has an air quality problem because of its frequent inversions. I explained first that an inversion condition means that temperature increases with height. Note that this behavior is opposite to the usual decrease with height. Consequently, the inversion shuts the vertical mixing down because the warm air is above the cold air. Note that warm air normally rises due to its buoyancy. Under inversion conditions, all gases and particles emitted into the inversion layer remain there and accumulate over time.
I discussed the results from my simulations. These simulations tested the potential changes in air quality due to a woodstove exchange program using EPA certified woodstoves, replacement of woodstove heating by natural gas, reduction of sulfur content in fuel, and combined reduction of sulfur content and replacement of woodstoves. None of the scenarios would have achieved compliance with the new NAAQS for the winter 2008/09.
Do you go to lunch talks? What do you wear? Let me know by email, I am curious.
You can learn more about Fairbanks air quality right here on High Latitude Style.
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Mölders, N., 2013. Investigations on the Impact of Single Direct and Indirect, and Multiple Emission-Control Measures on Cold-Season Near-Surface PM2.5 Concentrations in Fairbanks, Alaska. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 4, 87-100. doi: 10.5094/APR.2013.009
Mölders, N., Fochesatto, G., Edwin, S., and Kramm, G., 2019. Geothermal, Oceanic, Wildfire, Meteorological and Anthropogenic Impacts on PM2.5 Concentrations in the Fairbanks Metropolitan Area. Open Journal of Air Pollution, 8, 19-68. doi: 10.4236/ojap.2019.82002.
National Research Council, 2002. The Ongoing Challenge of Managing Carbon Monoxide Pollution in Fairbanks, Alaska: Interim Report 2002. Washington DC, 154.
Ye, L., and Wang, Y., 2020. Long-Term Air Quality Study in Fairbanks, Alaska: Air Pollutant Temporal Variations, Correlations, and PM2.5 Source Apportionment. Atmosphere, 11, 1203. doi: 10.3390/atmos11111203
Photos: G. Kramm
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