Links between ENSO and particulate matter pollution for the city of Christchurch
Abstract: The purpose of the project has been to investigate how synoptic scale climate systems control the frequency of air pollution episodes in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The work has been done at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and data from the region has been analysed. Air pollution is, during winter time, a growing problem in Christchurch and the project was initiated by the regional environmental legislative body. The first part of the report is on finding relationships on a local-scale between particulate matter concentrations, ground temperature, temperature at 10 meters and wind speed. The data set used in the analysis comes from a monitoring station in St. Albans, situated in the north-east of Christchurch. In the second part, a connection is made thought correlation calculations between the results from the local-scale analysis and the synoptic situation observed over New Zealand during the same period. Two different data sets have been used in the analysis. One data set includes different weather patterns observed over New Zealand and the other data set includes different zonal and meridional circulation indices. A pressure index is also used, the Southern Oscillation Index. On the local-scale, a relationship has been found between the particulate matter concentration and the number of night hours with an inversion present. A correlation also exists between the wind speed and the number of night hours with an inversion present. The connection to the synoptic scale through cluster frequencies and circulation indices was found to be divergent. The cluster frequency analysis indicates on a direct correlation between the Southern Oscillation Index and the air pollution concentration in Christchurch, while the circulation indices analysis indicates on an inverse relationship between the Southern Oscillation Index and the air pollution concentration in Christchurch.
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