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Air Quality in the Sydney Airshed

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Karsana Parameswaran

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Air Quality in the Sydney Airshed

Skull Woman
Air Pollution
The circulation of air pollution in the Sydney Airshed is defined by its boundaries: the higher ground to the north, the mountains to the west and south and the onshore winds at the coast. The air of Sydnye's Airshed will not travel past these boundaries. the effect of this is to trap air pollution, which may recirculate for several days before it is dispersed. low lying areas may experience temperature inversion, which traps air pollution at night time. This is particularly a problem in the Liverpool basin, to the southwest of Sydney, which is an area experiencing population growth. A major factor in the trapping of air pollution is the effect of the prevailing onshore sea breeze. As air pollution accumulates in the morning, it is pushes offshore about 7-8 kilometres. Here it is blocked by the cooler sea temperature. In the late afternoon, sea breezes which tend to be stronger push polluted air back towards land and urban areas. The Coriolis Effect, which deflects the onshore breeze to the left concentrates emissions in the south west corner of the Liverpool basin . Cold air at night moving down from the Blue Mountains pushes the accumulated pollution north east, back over the populated areas. This effect creates a figure of eight pattern which can recirculate for several days, until a strong wind is able to flush out the basin. Typically, the Sydney climate has a lot of hours of sunshine, which create conditions allowing photochemical smog to develop.
Air Quality in the Sydney Airshed
I am Skull Woman and i am working to solve the problem in the Sydney's Airshed, which encompasses the the Hawkesbury basin, the Liverpool basin ans the area east of Parramatta. Its boundaries are at the Blue Mountains to the east and south. It is approximately 4000km square kilometres in area. Due to the geographical features of the area such as the mountains and onshore wind at the Airshed's borders, and because the area forms a basin, the emissions from the city can be trapped for a lengthy amount of time, circulating across the basin until a strong wind flushes it out.


The Sydney basin’s declining air quality has had a significant impact on the health of people living in the area. Research has revealed increased levels of lung cancer in the western area of the Sydney basin, which has become a toxic air pollution trap. The other lung cancer hotspot is in Sydney’s primary air pollution source areas in the east. The incidence of respiratory ailments has skyrocketed, and medical experts have attributed this crisis to declining air quality. Cases of asthma in Sydney’s inhabitants have increased in recent decades, which health experts also attribute to the levels of air pollution. Other health issues include higher rates of heart disease and high blood pressure in the areas where air pollution settles. Studies reveal that pollution from cars is contributing to almost two thousand premature deaths in Australia every year. Irritation of the skin and eyes is another effect of the gathering of air pollution, and can occur through continued exposure to harmful gases in the air or direct contact with acid rain due to the gathered presence of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides high in the air.

As air pollution affects public health, the consequences of this will take its toll on the local economy. A person who suffers an ailment as a result of air pollution will need medical assistance, which is often very costly. People who do not have health insurance will rely on Medicare to pay for this treatment, which comes directly from the public health budget. Considering the work hours lost due to illness, these factors would add up to create a major impact on the social and economic life of the Sydney region, and causing a decline in the quality of life.

I wanted to take this issue because it has affected a lot of people and by solving it or reducing it, it will benefit a lot of people.

I can talk about the issue through the EPA, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.
I would include improvements in planning which could help reduce the dependence on cars.
Better public transport systems would be a high priority.
Modern technology needs to be applied to existing roads to improve traffic flow, such as wider freeways, tunnels, etc.
I would tell the governments to sponsor research and production for more efficient cars, such as hybrids, which are capable of reducing emissions up to 90%.
I can also help reduce it emissions by promoting the use of cars less often, instead catching public transport, car-pooling or walking to work or other destinations when possible. Also i will try to cut down other harmful practices, such as wood burning stoves which create large volumes of particle emissions.

The air pollution in Sydney would be much lower if everyone followed these solutions to reduce air pollution.

Ways to solve or reduce this issue:
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