Air Quality Modeling

Links between ozone, climate change, and human health in Delaware

This project is a collaboration between the University of Delaware, the Air Quality Division of DNREC (Delaware National Resources and Environmental control), and the Division of Energy and Climate of DNREC, supporting a PostDoc (Joe Brodie) starting in Fall 2016. 

Along the U.S. East Coast, global warming is projected to cause temperature to increase by 2.5 to 5.5 C and heat waves are expected to be more frequent, more intense, and last longer. Such increases in extreme temperatures are likely to have a negative impact on public health in Delaware, as high temperatures are associated with increased mortality. In addition to the direct effect from warming, another indirect health impact that is likely to be exacerbated by warming in Delaware comes from ozone (O3). In Delaware, ozone is the only pollutant that exceeds the national and state standards today. Ozone has large negative impacts on health, especially affecting the cardiopulmonary and respiratory systems. This research will investigate the links between climate change, ozone concentrations, and human health for the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region, with a focus on Delaware, using numerical models.

Transport of ozone precursors in Delaware

This project is a collaboration between the University of Delaware and the Air Quality Division of DNREC (Delaware National Resources and Environmental control), supporting a PhD student (Mojtaba Moghani) starting in Spring 2016. 

In the state of Delaware, ozone is the only air pollutant that reaches concentration levels that exceed the EPA standard (70 ppb). Delaware is a small state with relatively small local pollution sources, thus it is unclear why ozone level is high in our state. The most likely cause of the high ozone concentrations is transport of pollutants from neighboring states. The EPA recommended approach to understand the links between meteorology, emissions, and concentrations of pollutants is to use air quality models. We employ CMAQ and CAMx photochemical air quality models to identify the ozone transport over the northeastern United States.

The following figures show CMAQ-simulated ozone concentration, VOC emissions, and NOx emissions over the northeastern US on June 8, 2011.

CMAQ O3 Loop



Featured Faculty

Cristina Archer

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Professor Physical Ocean Science and Engineering


CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-2841
Geography: 302-831-2294 • Geology: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail:

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