Abnormal Cold Periods and Pollution Build -Up

Urban NO2 and NO pollution in relation to the North Atlantic Oscillation NAO (Abstract, M. Grundström, H.W. Linderholm, J. Klingberg and H. Pleijel, Atmospheric Environment, February 2011)


Just as El Nino and La Nina have 6-10 year cycles and result in widespread global anomalies such as thaws, floods and droughts, the somewhat and more scientifically based North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is associated with cold outbreaks in Europe and elsewhere. The article under review today goes further by examining the link between cold periods and the emission of nitrogen oxides (main source is vehicle exhaust) and the implications for poorer air quality as a result. Such build-ups of pollutants also would impact human health as many earlier posts on this web site attest.  Careful monitoring of the NAO could be a key to assessing the health impacts in urban centres subjected to cold periods.

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