Image courtesy of Nagyman via flickr
A new study by Stanford University atmospheric scientist Mark Jacobson has revealed that worsening air pollution and higher carbon dioxide emissions go hand-in-hand - the results suggest intensifying global warming will increase the number of smog-related deaths. As reported by Science's Eli Kintisch, Jacobson's climate model examined air-ocean interactions and simulated the distribution of the most commonly occurring pollutants in cities. His model made the following assumptions: that warmer temperatures would result in fewer winds to blow the air pollution out of cities and that higher levels of water vapor would lead to the production of more ozone - the primary component of smog. Using carbon dioxide emissions data from 2006 and 1750 - for an estimate of preindustrial levels - Jacobson found that each extra degree of warming accounted for roughly 1,000 out of every 50,000 - 100,000 air pollution-related deaths.
He found this trend to be particularly pronounced in already heavily polluted cities - great news for us Angelenos. Despite the study's results, the EPA has stood fast in its decision to reject California's emissions waiver request; presumably they expect the lax federal standards to help resolve L.A.'s smog woes.
Via ::ScienceNOW: CO2 and Pollution Don't Mix Well (news website)