Planning for Air Quality and Climate Research in Texas

September 22, 2005

A planning meeting for the 2005-2006 Texas Air Quality Study/Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (TexAQS/GoMACCS) will be held October 11-12 in Austin, Texas. ESRL scientists will be among those in attendance at the meeting, which is being hosted and organized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).


In August and September of 2006, NOAA will help lead a major multi-institutional intensive field program that will focus on investigating important scientific questions that are common to both climate and air quality. The NOAA components of the program are the Texas Air Quality Study (TEXAQS) and the Gulf of Mexico Atmospheric Composition and Climate Study (GoMACCS).

This intensive field study will focus on providing a better understanding of the sources and atmospheric processes responsible for the formation and distribution of ozone and aerosols in the atmosphere and the influence that these species have on the radiative forcing of climate regionally and globally, as well as their impact on air quality, human health, and regional haze.

The study area will be Texas and the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. The intensive work next August/September is superimposed on a longer study period that commenced in May 2005, in which state and university scientists in Texas are gathering data from ground stations to characterize atmospheric composition in a broad region of southeastern Texas.


The TexAQS/GOMACCS research will make a strong contribution to two NOAA Goals/Programs:

  • Climate/Climate Forcing and
  • Weather & Water/Air Quality.

GoMACCS, the NOAA climate change component of this field program, will characterize marine/continental chemical and meteorological processes over Texas and the Gulf of Mexico in order to improve the simulation of the radiative forcing of climate change by lower-atmosphere ozone and aerosols. In addition to clear-sky radiative effects, GoMACCS will investigate the influence of aerosols on cloud properties and the role of clouds in chemical transformation.

TexAQS 2006, the NOAA air quality component of this field experiment, will investigate the sources and processes that are responsible for photochemical pollution (ozone) and regional haze during the summertime in Texas. Several counties in Texas are experiencing air quality problems associated with this ozone. In addition, there is growing concern that additional counties in the state may be facing similar issues in the near future. The 2006 study will provide information on the sources of the ozone and aerosols precursors and processes responsible for the formation and distribution of ozone and aerosols in the state.

By addressing both Climate and Air Quality objectives, the 2006 TexAQS/GoMACCS studies will be especially effective in leveraging resources and personnel in support of NOAA's mission.

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Chris Ennis