Air Pollution Meteorology

Air Pollution Meteorology

Ravichandran C. (Bishop Heber College, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7289-3.ch007

Abstract

Air pollution is a major environmental problem. It is divided into indoor air pollution and outdoor air pollution. The pollutants released in the outdoor atmosphere are under the control of meteorological conditions prevailing at the time of emission and after. Thus, the subject, air pollution meteorology, has emerged. It explains the significance of meteorological aspects and their influences on air pollutants emitted in the outdoor atmosphere. Prevailing winds and atmospheric stability are the two major factors that determine the dispersion of the pollutants. In this chapter, a brief outline is presented on composition and structure of atmosphere, and its processes such as radiation through the atmosphere, winds, global circulation, and atmospheric stability. Mixing height and ventilation coefficients are explained. The prediction of air quality using Gaussian dispersion model with the input of data of emission and meteorology is also explained.
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Composition Of The Atmosphere

The earth’s atmosphere is a thin layer of gases around the planet. This thin layer of gases is commonly called, air. It is retained by the earth’s gravity. It extends from a few meters below the surface of the earth to a height of about 60,000 kms. Most of the atmospheric mass is located near the surface, up to a height of 80 to 100 kms. As a result, the air exerts pressure vertically below it. The highest pressure is felt near the surface of the earth and the pressure decreases with increasing altitude. On average, 1013 mb of pressure is observed at the earth’s surface. The density of air at the Earth’s surface is about 1.2 kg/m3 (Padmanabha Murty, 2004). The density too decreases with increasing height.

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