According to one car guy, global warming is a crock of excrement. Toyota wants to get to the bottom of it. Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Central R&D Labs have developed a simulator able to predict tropospheric ozone concentrations across the whole of South and East Asia. The project was carried out in collaboration with Tsinghua University in China, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. The simulator is expected to help in the reduction of energy consumption and limit emissions that cause atmospheric pollution — one factor in global warming.
The ozone layer in the stratosphere (starting at a height of approximately 10 km) is fairly well known. It protects the earth’s ecosystem by absorbing ultraviolet rays. Less known is the ozone in the troposphere, which extends to approximately 10 km above the earth’s surface. The tropospheric ozone is said to be the main cause of photochemical smog, an atmospheric pollutant harmful to human health and plant growth.
Predicting tropospheric ozone concentrations is difficult. And that’s where Toyota’s simulator comes in. It takes as inputs the current and projected energy consumption, along with CO2, NOx, and VOC emissions and meteorological conditions. It then builds a three-dimensional air quality model that predicts tropospheric ozone concentrations.
According to Toyota, “the main benefit of the simulator is the ability to comprehensively investigate policies needed for tropospheric ozone reduction, CO2 reduction scenarios and atmospheric improvement scenarios.”
We have smuggled a 2D demo out of the secret Toyota labs. It’s a PowerPoint. It uses old data. At the top, it says something like “Example of Ozone Concentration Prediction.” Set it in motion by “View Slideshow” (or F5) and you’ll see why I am having qualms about going back to Beijing in two weeks. But hey, it’s 2005 data.
The real thing will be demonstrated on May 26 and 27 at a workshop at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. Let’s hope there will be less red in the clouds moving around in the troposphere.