summer days cause in large cities very seldom great happiness among
inhabitants. On those days the air is highly polluted with automobile
and industrial emissions what makes breathing difficult and unhealthy.
According to the latest calculations of Max Planck scientist Andrea
Pozzer this scenario could become true for most of world population in
2050 if no counteractive measures are taken. Especially China, North
India and the Middle East are expected to be affected by a drastic
decrease in air quality.
2050, the air quality worldwide will be as bad as it already is
nowadays in urban areas of Southeast Asia. This is the result of a
simulation of the atmosphere done by scientists at the Max Planck
Institute for Chemistry, the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and the
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The chemical
atmospheric model EMAC used by the researchers for their current study
is the first to include all five major air pollutants known to
negatively impact human health: nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide,
ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 ?m, which
are regarded as particularly harmful.
pollution is one of the major current health risks of humanity. At
present, urban outdoor air pollution causes 1.3 million estimated deaths
per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. That
number will increase in coming years. Therefore Andrea Pozzer and his
colleagues studied the impact of man-made emissions on air quality in
different regions of the earth. They show, what could happen if no
further action is taken to reduce pollutants.
study shows that further legislation to control and reduce man-made
emissions is needed, in particular for eastern China and northern India,
to avoid hot-spots of elevated air pollution,” says Andrea Pozzer of
the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, whose latest research
findings are published in the current issue of ‘Atmospheric Chemistry
and Physics’, a journal of the European Geosciences Union. According to
the results of this study eastern China and northern India are the
places that are struggling with the highest pollution levels.
Asia will be exposed to high levels of pollutants, such as nitrogen
dioxide, sulphur dioxide and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Northern
India and the Arabian Gulf region, on the other hand, will suffer a
marked increase in ozone levels. This is primarily due to population
density and the expected increase in industrial production and transport
in these areas. Air pollution in Europe and North America would also
increase, but due to the effect of mitigation policies—that have been in
place for over two decades now—to a much lesser extent than in Asia.
and his colleagues studied the impact of man-made emissions on air
quality, assuming past emission trends continue and no additional
climate change and air pollution reduction measures beyond what is in
place since 2005 are implemented. While pessimistic, the global
emissions trends indicate such continuation.
to these results the researchers want to broaden the analyses. In the
near future they want to calculate how many people would actually be
affected by the harmful effects of deteriorating air quality.
Source: Max Planck Institute