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Air Pollution in Fairbanks

Date and Time:

Nicole Mölders
Professor & Chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences

Fairbanks has had frequent air-quality problems with respect to particles of less than 2.5m in diameter (PM2.5). These problems occur during winter months due to strong inversions, low temperatures and calm winds combined with high emissions. Unhealthy air conditions are of great concern for pregnant women, children, the elderly, people with allergies and those spending long periods outside in activity (dog mushing, skiing, etc.). The University of Alaska Fairbanks has made huge research efforts on how to mitigate the PM2.5 concentrations. Extensive data has been collected from Fairbanks’ cold-season with state-of-art research models and observations. This presentation will review the potential impacts of various strategies proposed to address air-quality concerns, such as: wood-burning device change-outs, use of natural gas, use of low-sulfur fuel and combinations of thereof.