How is Air Pollution Linked to Diabetes?

Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Diabetes Mellitus in Europe and North America: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (9 page pdf, Ikenna C. Eze, Lars G. Hemkens, Heiner C. Bucher, Barbara Hoffmann, Christian Schindler, Nino Künzli, Tamara Schikowski, and Nicole M. Probst-Hensch, Environmental Health Perspectives, May 1, 2015)

Today we review the results of a literature search for refereed studies or reports linking diabetes with air pollution. The search revealed over 680 reports and 13 studies that were conducted in Europe or North America- but not in developing countries. Analysis showed strong evidence linking inflammation from air pollution linked to the occurrence of Diabetes Type 2. Future studies need to take account of possible biases or unrelated causes of diabetes (such as obesity) as well as the need for this kind of research in developing countries where indoor air pollution is more likely to be a factor.

English: The blue circle is the global symbol ...

English: The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes, introduced by the International Diabetes Federation with the aim of giving diabetes a common identity, supporting existing efforts to raise awareness of diabetes and placing the diabetes epidemic firmly in the public spotlight. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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How is Europe Dealing with Air Pollution from Agriculture?

Clean Air from our Farms (4 page pdf, European Environmental Bureau Position Paper, Apr. 28, 2015)

Also discussed here : Infographic: How agricultural emissions affect our health (European Environmental Bureau, Apr. 28, 2015)

Today we review a note from the European Environmental Bureau which focuses on emissions and pollutants from agriculture which makes up 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of the methane from the EU, and impacts both the air(acid rain), soil and human health. A National Emissions Ceilings Directive, issued in 2013, set new targets for ammonia, PM2.5 and methane among other pollutants, with a focus on livestock and manure management as well as croplands and the use of fertilizers and pesticides.


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How has Climate Change Affected the Frequency of Extreme Weather Events?

Anthropogenic contribution to global occurrence of heavy-precipitation and high-temperature extremes (Abstract, E. M. Fischer &R. Knutti, Nature Climate Change, Apr. 27, 2015)
Also discussed here: Human activity responsible for three out of four heat extremes, study finds (Roz Pidcock, The Carbon Brief, Apr. 27, 2015)
Today we review climate modeling research that examines the how the frequency of extreme weather events over the long term has and is being changed by the addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Results indicate that in addition to an average global warming of 0.85 C over the last 100 years that the probability of the temperature at a location exceeding a given threshold has tripled so that a daily maximum above 35C, say, that once occurred once in 3 years now occurs every year. When the global temperature has increased by 2C which is the present aim for international policy makers under existing climate change protocols, the probability of a hot day will increase 5 times compared to present day frequencies. Likewise the additional moisture that warmer air can carry has increased and this leads to heavier and more frequent rain storms and floods, especially in the tropics. While the link between climate warming and more frequent extreme events has been known in general terms for a long time, this is the first time that a quantitative number has been put on that- which has major impacts on insurance as well as on policy dealing with climate change.

chances of climate chnage

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Finding Post 2020 Targets for GHG Emission Reductions

Comparing Countries’ Emissions Targets – A Practical Guide (20 page pdf, Australian Government Climate Change Authority, March 2015)

Also discussed here: Comparing countries’ emissions targets (Australian Government Climate Change Authority, March 2015)
And here:  Australia’s future emissions reduction targets (43 page pdf, Australian Government Climate Change Authority, April 2015)
Today we review a guide from the Australian government that compares GHG reduction targets from other countries or regions with similar economies (such as the USA and the EU), using four criteria: Capacity, Adequacy, Responsibility and Effort and differences in base year. Australia, (like Canada) has one of the highest per capita emission rates in the world (at 25-27 tonsCO2e/year) as well as a strong economy, governance institutions and advanced technology. It’s unconditional emissions target implies a 32% reduction/capita from 2005 levels by 2025 which is higher relatively than the US or EU. Another significant factor is the cost to make reductions and the capacity of a country’s economy to bear that wither in absolute or relative terms. However, costs are difficult to estimate and may be influenced by actions of other countries as well as the technology used. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) for participating countries will be announced in advance of the Paris conference in December 2015.

australia post 2020 ghg targets

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How Will Norway Deal with Less Fuel Tax Revenue while Reducing Carbon Emissions?

Norway reviewing future of fuel tax (Road Pricing, Apr. 24, 2015)

Today we review a short note on the status of fuel taxes and road tolls in Norway which like Canada is blessed with both considerable hydroelectric power and oil and natural gas resources. Norway has a much greater network of roads with tolls as well as many more electric cars than Canada. With the drop in oil prices and, as a result, reduced revenue from fixed fuel taxes, both countries have to decide how to manage the revenue side from fuel taxes and road pricing, as well as the movement toward lower carbon emissions which has been boosted by various incentives for electric cars (which tends to favour higher income owners) which are not available for heavy vehicles and trucks. The resulting decision may favour higher tolls. This is one option not available to oil producing countries, such as the USA and Canada, where tolling is much less seen.

Norway toll roads

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If You Live Close to Traffic, Your Brain will Shrink

Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Residential Proximity to Major Roads and Measures of Brain Structure  (Abstract, Elissa H. Wilker, Sarah R. Preis, Alexa S. Beiser, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au, Itai Kloog, Wenyuan Li, Joel Schwartz, Petros Koutrakis, Charles DeCarli, Sudha Seshadri, Murray A. Mittleman, Strole, American Heart Association, Apr. 23, 20-15)
Also discussed here: Long-term exposure to air pollution may pose risk to brain structure, cognitive functions (ScienceDaily, Apr. 23, 2015)
And here: Air pollution could increase risk of dementia (Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph, Apr. 23, 2015)

And here: Smog may be harming your brain (Health24, Apr. 24, 2015)

Today we review research on heath impacts on the brain from long term exposure to vehicle emissions from nearby traffic. A slight increase in PM 2.5 (by 2 μg/m3) was associated with a decrease in cerebral brain volume equivalent to an extra year of aging. This suggests the air pollution is associated with structural brain aging, even in dementia, and with a 50% greater risk of having a silent stroke which results from a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain.. The mechanism that links the brain to air pollution is unclear but the authors suggest that inflammation from fine particles in the lungs is likely important.



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How Many Canadians Live Close to Vehicle Emissions from Major Roadways?

Development of a land-use regression model for ultrafine particles in Toronto, Canada (Abstract, Kelly Sabaliauskas , Cheol-Heon Jeong, Xiaohong Yao, Christopher Reali, Tim Sun, Greg J. Evans, Atmospheric Environment, Apr. 2015)

Also discussed here: Traffic emissions may pollute one in three Canadian homes (ScienceDaily, Apr. 21, 2015)
Today we review research into exposure to ultra-fine particles, especially those emitted by old vehicles. One third of all Canadians and half of the population of Toronto are exposed to health risks because they live within 250 m of a major roadway. 21,000 Canadians die prematurely each year because of air pollution and a large part of these deaths result from living too close to major roadways. Policy changes at the provincial and federal levels are needed to target older more polluting cars, as well as at the municipal level, to zoning plans to locate buildings and homes that house those most vulnerable from being close to traffic-related pollution – such as day cares, seniors residences, hospitals and schools.

toronto pm

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