New Haven Public School District
Grade 8 

 Core Activities
    What are the sources of air pollutants?
    Smog City Investigation
    Diesel Exhaust
    Diesel Bus Case Study in Connecticut
    Create Your Own Investigation








--> How are pollutants such as ozone, NOx, VOCs and particulate matter transported or moved away from their sources?


  1. Review the wind information below.  Remember that the wind barb points in the direction where the wind is blowing to, as opposed to where the wind is blowing from.
    5 knots
    10 knots
    15 knots
    20 knots

    Example of Wind Barb

    50 knots
    65 knots

    NOTE: The Example Wind Barb above represents a wind that is blowing from the Southeast at 15 knots. Wind speed is often reported in the units of "knots". A "Knot" is a nautical mile per hour.

    • 1 Knot = 1.15 Miles Per Hour (MPH)
    • 1 Knot = 1.9 Kilometers Per Hour (KM/HR)
    • Each short barb represents 5 knots, each long barb 10 knots. A long barb and a short barb is 15 knots, simply by adding the value of each barb together (10 knots + 5 knots = 15 knots. 
    • If you would like more wind barb practice, try this online quiz.
  2. On your Student Worksheet, analyze the wind barbs and determine which way the wind is blowing and how hard the wind is blowing.
    • Wind not only moves air, but also particles and objects that may be in the air. You may have experienced this before if you have dropped a piece of paper outside on a windy day and chased after it as the wind picks up the paper and carries it along.
    • What about the particles you cannot see? Winds can transport particles like NOx, VOCs, ground level ozone and particulates great distances from where they were produced.
  3. Pollutants such as ground level ozone and particulate matter are usually swept along by winds that blow around 3,000 ft above the surface (sea level).  Access the 3,000 ft wind data or the WeatherUnderground or surface wind streamlines and answer the questions on the Student Worksheet.
    • There are times when you can see the pollution in the air, when the air looks brownish-orange, that is called haze. Haze is caused by fine particles that scatter and absorb light. As the number of fine particles increases, more light is absorbed and scattered, resulting in less clarity, color, and visual range.
  4. Think about diesel exhaust and how all of these pollutants may be transported into your area. Now, think about the role of weather in this equation. Has the weather been such that it will effect the level of pollutants in the surrounding air? Combining all of this information, do you think you will be able to see the pollution or haze in the air today in Hartford? Explain.
  5. Check your response. Use NESCAUM's Haze Cam to determine if your hypothesis was correct. Notice the real time information under the image. Is the information similar to what you were expecting? Why or why not?



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