Dilchand Nauth

Dilchand Nauth
B.E, Earth Systems Science & Environmental Engineering, Undergraduate, 05/29/2019

Cohort Level: Cohort - II

Career Goal: Once I graduate from my current degree program, I am pondering my PhD studies. Because of the supportive environment that is NOAA-CESSRST and my faculty advisor, I am inspired right now, to continue my studies. However, if this does not happen I plan on getting a job with a NOAA-mission related enterprise agency.

Expected Graduation Date: May 31, 2019

Degree: B.E Earth Systems Science & Environmental Engineering

Research Title: Analyzing Atmospheric Total Column NO2 and O3 Variability in Urban Environments using Ground- and Satellite- Based Instruments

Research Synopsis: Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3) are two of six criteria pollutants for which National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) have been set by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). In urban areas, burning of fossil fuels and other human activities result in high amounts and strong variability of tropospheric NO2 and O3, with harmful impacts on both human health and ecosystems. The effects of these trace gases can be exacerbated by a number of human and environmental pressures, including changing wind patterns, rising temperatures, episodic events, and urban development. Here, we focused on analyzing new, long-term series data of total column NO2 (TCNO2) and O3 (TCO3) amounts measured from ground- and space-based sensors over the urban coastal environment of New York City. Continuous, high resolution measurements collected from the ground-based Pandora 135 instrument (located on the roof of the CUNY Advanced Science Research Center building in Harlem, New York) over a period of one year (Dec 2017 – Dec 2018) were used to assess temporal patterns and variability (daily, monthly, and seasonal trends) in TCNO2 and TCO3. Results were compared with space-based observations from the European Space Agency (ESA) TROPOspheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI). We found that TCNO2 was characterized by clear diurnal and seasonal cycles, in response to temporal patterns in human activities. However, TCO3 concentrations did not behave as hypothesized. O3 trends were expected to increase during the summer due to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation, however, an unexpected spike at the beginning of spring followed by a nearly linear decrease until the start of autumn was observed. Our measurements suggest that most of this variability in TCO3 is due to larger-scale meteorological processes rather than local scale human activities. As part of this project I will be working on the analysis of remote sensing measurements of atmospheric trace gases (NO2 and O3) from ground-based and shipboard Pandora spectrometers. Among the main objectives of this study is to characterize spatial and temporal variability in coastal atmospheric composition in response to human activities and local scale meteorological processes. I will use these measurements to assess impacts of atmospheric pollution on atmospheric correction of coastal ocean color retrievals. Surface measurements will be compared with space-based remote sensing observations from NOAA satellite sensors. These activities directly align with the tasks and deliverables of Theme I-Task 1.