Minutes of the November 17, 2008 Meeting
Smoky Mountain AMS Chapter
Around 10 people met first for dinner at Calhoun's on the River in Knoxville, and then around 20 people convened for the meeting in the Plant Biotech Bldg. on the Ag campus. Grant Goodge (former climatologist with the National Climatic Data Center) spoke about atmospheric visibility. The following was a synopsis of his talk:
"Over the last 40 years there has been much discussion concerning anthropogenic air pollution and its relationship to climate change. Regionally, there have been efforts to reduce both gaseous and particulate pollution. One of the ways to assess any resulting improvements would be to do a time series analysis of the reported visibilities from professionally staffed US airports. Unfortunately, the transition (in the mid 1990ís) of weather stations from manual to automated sensors essentially ended any effective long term analysis of those visibility records. Starting in the mid 1990ís, all reported visibility values were confined to a maximum of 10 miles. This presentation will reveal some interesting aspects of a visibility record that extends from 1984-2004 that were taken from a mid-elevation site in Western North Carolina. I will use surface, aerial, and satellite imagery to show that air pollution is a world wide problem that is not confined to industrial sources."
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