Research explores health impacts of urban living
Research at ASU that could help decision-makers address urban pollution problems and the impact of climate change on urban environments is getting support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Professor Alex Mahalov has been awarded a $775,000 grant from the NSF for his regional climate research, which includes studies of urban atmospheres and the health impacts of environmental stresses.
Such stresses – including urban heat islands, heat waves, pollution and high levels of ozone – "negatively impact people's health in the Valley," Mahalov said. "During periods of high levels of ozone, for instance, more people with lung problems are admitted to hospitals."
Mahalov is a professor in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Science, and has a joint appointment in the Center for Environmental Fluid Dynamics, part of the School of Mechanical, Aerospace, Chemical and Materials Engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.
His research project titled "Multi-Scale Modeling of Urban Atmospheres in a Changing Climate" involves close collaboration with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to be directed by Mohamed Moustaoui, an associate research scientist with the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and the Center for Environmental Fluid Dynamics .
The ASU-NCAR research team will develop nested models to simulate urban atmospheres and their multiscale interactions with ambient climate and atmospheric circulation occurring on urban scales. The models will be used to explore the effects of large-scale atmospheric conditions on urban-scale environment and climate, and the effects of the atmospheric conditions of cities on the regions that surround them.
The project also will create research opportunities for ASU science and engineering graduate students, who will be able to work with faculty on the computational studies of complex urban systems.
In addition, ASU's High Performance Computing Initiative (HPCI) center and Intel Corporation will provide advanced training in high-performance computing and computational science to ASU students working with project teams. The teams also will collaborate with HPCI and Intel on adapting the computer simulation tools for use in next generations of massively parallelized multi-core architectures.
The HPCI center provides state-of-the-art computer facilities, software and visualization capabilities to help researchers analyze and visualize data from high-resolution computer simulations. The software will be used to provide three-dimensional visualizations for ASU's Decision Theater.
Writer: Jessica Graham