Press Releases

Jay Olaguer Lead Author of Paper for Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres

Posting Date: 
Tuesday, February 4, 2014

HARC Research Scientist, Jay Olaguer, Program Director, Air Quality Science, was the lead author of a recently accepted paper for the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, entitled “Overview of the SHARP campaign: motivation, design, and major outcomes.”

Abstract from

[1] The Study of Houston Atmospheric Radical Precursors (SHARP) was a field campaign developed by the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) on behalf of the Texas Environmental Research Consortium (TERC). SHARP capitalized on previous research associated with the Second Texas Air Quality Study (TexAQS II) and the development of the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) ozone non-attainment area. These earlier studies pointed to an apparent deficit in ozone production in the SIP attainment demonstration model despite the enhancement of simulated emissions of Highly Reactive Volatile Organic Compounds (HRVOCs) in accordance with the findings of the original Texas Air Quality Study in 2000 (TexAQS I). The scientific hypothesis underlying the SHARP campaign was that there are significant undercounted primary and secondary sources of the radical precursors, formaldehyde and nitrous acid, in both heavily industrialized and more typical urban areas of Houston. These sources, if properly taken into account, could increase the production of ozone in the SIP model and the simulated efficacy of control strategies designed to bring the HGB area into ozone attainment. This overview summarizes the precursor studies and motivations behind SHARP, as well as the overall experimental design and major findings of the 2009 field campaign. These findings include significant combustion sources of formaldehyde at levels greater than accounted for in current point source emission inventories; the underestimate of formaldehyde and nitrous acid emissions, as well as CO/NOx and NO2/NOx ratios, by mobile source models; and the enhancement of nitrous acid by atmospheric organic aerosol.