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  1. Abstract

    Herein, we introduce a novel methodology to generate urban morphometric parameters that takes advantage of deep neural networks and inverse modeling. We take the example of Chicago, USA, where the Urban Canopy Parameters (UCPs) available from the National Urban Database and Access Portal Tool (NUDAPT) are used as input to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Next, the WRF simulations are carried out with Local Climate Zones (LCZs) as part of the World Urban Data Analysis and Portal Tools (WUDAPT) approach. Lastly, a third novel simulation, Digital Synthetic City (DSC), was undertaken where urban morphometry was generated using deep neural networks and inverse modeling, following which UCPs are re-calculated for the LCZs. The three experiments (NUDAPT, WUDAPT, and DSC) were compared against Mesowest observation stations. The results suggest that the introduction of LCZs improves the overall model simulation of urban air temperature. The DSC simulations yielded equal to or better results than the WUDAPT simulation. Furthermore, the change in the UCPs led to a notable difference in the simulated temperature gradients and wind speed within the urban region and the local convergence/divergence zones. These results provide the first successful implementation of the digital urban visualization dataset within an NWP system. This development now can lead the way for a more scalable and widespread ability to perform more accurate urban meteorological modeling and forecasting, especially in developing cities. Additionally, city planners will be able to generate synthetic cities and study their actual impact on the environment.

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  2. Abstract

    An accepted murine analogue for the environmental behavior of human SARS coronaviruses was aerosolized in microdroplets of its culture media and saliva to observe the decay of its airborne infectious potential under relative humidity (RH) conditions relevant to conditioned indoor air. Contained in a dark, 10 m3 chamber maintained at 22°C, murine hepatitis virus (MHV) was entrained in artificial saliva particles that were aerosolized in size distributions that mimic SARS-CoV-2 virus expelled from infected humans’ respiration. As judged by quantitative PCR, more than 95% of the airborne MHV aerosolized was recovered from microdroplets with mean aerodynamic diameters between 0.56 and 5.6 μm. As judged by its half-life, calculated from the median tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50), saliva was protective of airborne murine coronavirus through a RH range recommended for conditioned indoor air (60% < RH < 40%; average half-life = 60 minutes). However, its average half-life doubled to 120 minutes when RH was maintained at 25%. Saliva microaerosol was dominated by carbohydrates, which presented hallmarks of vitrification without efflorescence at low RH. These results suggest that dehydrating carbohydrates can affect the infectious potential coronaviruses exhibit while airborne, significantly extending their persistence under the drier humidity conditions encountered indoors.

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