delware environmental institute

NSF Highlight: Air quality worsened by paved surfaces

NSF Highlight: Air quality worsened by paved surfaces

New research focusing on the Houston area suggests that widespread urban development alters weather patterns in a way that can make it easier for pollutants to accumulate during warm summer weather instead of being blown out to sea. The international study, led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), could have implications for the air quality of fast-growing coastal cities in the United States and other mid-latitude regions overseas. The reason: the proliferation of strip malls, subdivisions and other paved areas may interfere with breezes needed to clear away smog and other pollution.