OMG, it is SO HOT. Could it possibly be any worse? YES! It can! Apparently during extreme heat, the air is also more polluted! Oh, that's just great! [TAKES LONG SIP OF ICED COFFEE].
According to PsyOrg, new research by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at the University of York finds that:
during heat waves – when the ground is especially dry – plants become stressed and shut their stomata (small pores on their leaves) to conserve water. This natural protective mechanism makes them more resilient to extreme heat and high ozone levels, but it also stops them from absorbing ozone and other pollutants.
Did you catch that? It is so hot out right now that plants are making us fend for ourselves! Plants be like, "um, wow, it's hot! So, we're just gonna shut this whole thing down for a while. Y'all on your own, humans!" Oh, thanks A LOT plants! What are we paying you for anyway?
Sadly, this isn't a minor problem. The research suggests that the increased ozone in the air can make people die.
the team also estimated that 970 premature deaths due to ozone would have occurred under minimal plant ozone uptake conditions over the June to July period; of these 460 could have been avoided if plants had been absorbing ozone at full capacity. All estimated premature deaths are in addition to human health and mortality impacts from the heat itself.
GO TO HELL, PLANTS.