What is the Impact of Air Pollution on the World- Present and Future?

The Economic Consequences of Outdoor Air Pollution (20 page pdf, OECD, Jun. 9. 2016)

Also discussed here: Air pollution to cause 6-9 million premature deaths and cost 1% GDP by 2060 (OECD Press Release, , Jun. 9. 2016)

Today we review a report from the OECD which estimates the impact of air pollution in terms of economic costs and on health costs and premature lives lost. Global costs are expected to rise from $21B in 2015 to $176B in 2060 (in constant 2010 dollars). The number of lost sick days which affects productivity is expected to rise from 1.2 B to 3.7 B in 2060. The number of premature deaths due to outdoor air pollution is expected to rise from 3 million in 2015 to 6-9 million in 2060. Policies to address this include incentives aimed at technology to reduce vehicle emissions, the implementation of improved air quality standards and introduction of emission/congestion/road pricing. The highest per capita costs are found in China, followed by Korea, Eastern Europe and the Caspian region and this is also where premature deaths per capita are highest.

oecd impacts

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Ontario’s Climate Action Plan from 2016 to 2020

Ontario’s Five Year Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020 (Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Jun. 8, 2016)

Also discussed here: Five things you need to know about how Ontario’s climate change action plan will affect your life (Financial Post, Jun. 8, 2016)

And here: Ontario’s climate change action plan: what it needs to succeed  (Mike Crawley, CBC News, Jun. 8, 2016)

ontario emissions 2013

Today we review Ontario’s first climate action plan with targets for the period 2016-2020. The planned GHG reductions fall within a plan to reduce overall emissions by 15% by 2020, 37% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 with most of the reductions coming from three sectors with 85% of current (2013) emissions: transportation (35%), industry (28%) and buildings (19%). Although Ontario is approaching carbon pricing in a different way (Cap and Trade) than British Columbia did 8 years ago using a revenue-neutral carbon tax,  a similar approach is to require all municipalities to produce a climate mitigation and adaptation plan. The BC approach is expected to reduce B.C.’s emissions in 2020 by up to three million tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, roughly the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions created by 787,000 cars per year. Revenue from carbon tax itself $500M/year,  was returned to taxpayers who pay less than any other provincial taxpayers in Canada.  In addition, the serious way that Ontario is approaching the need for electric vehicles through incentives for new e-cars and for many new charging stations gives some assurance that both the carbon pollutants and toxic air emissions from today’s cars and trucks will be reduced.

  1. Under Transportation:
  • incentives for e-vehicles ($140-160M)
  • more charging stations ($80M)
  1. Under Buildings
  • Incentives for heat pumps and geothermal ($500-600M)
  • Free energy audits ($200-250M)
  1. Municipal Land Use Planning
  • greenhouse gas pollution reduction challenge fund or program.($250-300M)
  • make climate change mitigation and adaptation mandatory in municipal official plans.”
  1. R&D
  • Create a Global Centre for Low Carbon Mobility ($100-140M)

Other actions are planned for agriculture, industry and in collaboration with the federal government..


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How Does Air Pollution Cause Hypertension and Heart Attacks?

Associations of Short-Term and Long-Term Exposure to Ambient Air Pollutants With Hypertension A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (16 page pdf, Yuanyuan Cai, Bo Zhang, Weixia Ke, Baixiang Feng, Hualiang Lin, Jianpeng Xiao, Weilin Zeng, Xing Li, Jun Tao, Zuyao Yang, Wenjun Ma, Tao Liu, Hypertension, Jun. 1, 2016)

Also discussed here: High blood pressure linked to short-, long-term exposure to some air pollutants (Science Daily, May 31, 2016)

Today we review a meta-analysis of the links between high blood pressure and hypertension which lead to the number one cause of death in the world, cardiovascular disease, with air pollutants for both short and long term exposure. Results indicate short term exposure ot particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) and sulphur dioxide (associated with diesel vehicle emissions and coal burning) as well as long term exposure to nitrogen dioxide and PM10 (associated with vehicle emissions) are linked to a higher risk of hypertension. The mechanisms that lead to hypertension include inflammation and oxidative stress from exposure to air pollutants as well as imbalance of the nervous system from particulates.

English: Main complications of persistent high...

English: Main complications of persistent high blood pressure. Sources are found in main article: Wikipedia:Hypertension#Complications. To discuss image, please see Template_talk:Häggström diagrams. To edit, please use the svg version, convert to png and update both versions online. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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How Does Particulate Pollution Affect the Calcification of Arteries?

English: Coronary circulation, with coronary a...

English: Coronary circulation, with coronary arteries labeled in red text and other landmarks in blue text. This vector graphics image was originally created with Adobe Illustrator, and modified with Inkscape. 32px|alt=W3C|link=http://validator.w3.org/✓ The source code of this SVG is valid. Category:Valid SVG (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Association between air pollution and coronary artery calcification within six metropolitan areas in the USA (the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution): a longitudinal cohort study (Abstract, 1 page pdf, Joel D Kaufman, Sara D Adar, R Graham Barr,  Matthew Budoff, Gregory L Burke, Cynthia L Curl,  Martha L Daviglus,  Ana V Diez Roux, Amanda J Gassett,  David R Jacobs Jr, Prof Richard Kronmal, Timothy V Larson, Ana Navas-Acien, Casey Olives, Paul D Sampson, Lianne Sheppard, David S Siscovick,  James H Stein, Adam A Szpiro,  Karol E Watson, The Lancet, May 24, 2016

Also discussed here: Decade-long study shows how air pollution is killing you (ZME Science, May 26, 2016)

Today we review research conducted over a decade on the biological impacts of  traffic-related air pollution (PM2.5 and NOx)  on the arteries which in turn results in a higher risk of heart attack.. Results indicate  coronary calcium increased with increases in PM2.5 by 4.1 Agaston units/yr and in NOx by 4.8 Agaston units/yr. The authors suggest that increases in traffic related pollution especially in urban areas world-wide can be associated with increased cardiovascular diseases.

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Links between Particulate Pollution, Diabetes and Heart Attack Risk

The Association Between Air Pollution Exposure and Glucose and Lipids Levels (8 page pdf, Maayan Yitshak Sade, Itai Kloog, Idit F. Liberty, Joel Schwartz, and Victor Novack, J Clin Endocrinol Metab, May 24, 2016)

Also discussed here: Air pollution exposure may raise heart disease risk – Study found exposure linked to poorer blood sugar, cholesterol measures (ScienceDaily, May 24, 2016)

Today we review research into the the side effects of exposure to particulate air pollutants regarding cardiovascular disease(the leading cause of death in the USA), blood glucose levels and  cholesterol  levels. Results indicate that even a higher exposure to air pollution in the preceding three months leads to higher glucose levels and even a small change in this leads to increased risk of heart attack.

English: A graph of particulate pollution (PM ...

English: A graph of particulate pollution (PM 2.5 vs date) for sensors located in . The particulate pollution shows a seasonal variation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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What Impact Do Local Emission Controls have on Air Pollution?

Response of SO2 and particulate air pollution to local and regional emission controls: A case study in Maryland (16 page pdf, Hao He, Konstantin Y. Vinnikov, Can Li, Nickolay A. Krotkov, Andrew R. Jongeward, Zhanqing Li, JeffreyW. Stehr, Jennifer C. Hains, and Russell R. Dickerson, Earth’s Future, AGU, Apr. 12, 2016)

Today we review the changes that emission controls implemented in the state of Maryland with the Healthy Air Act in 2009, had on the concentration of SO2 and PM2.5 using measurements from satellites in space as well as ground measurements over the last 10 years. Results indicate that emissions from (coal burning) power plants were reduced by 90% while concentrations of SO2 were reduced by 50% and PM2.5 by 25%- with all of the decline of PM2.5 due to a reduction in sulphur. Results were striking in the decrease of the seasonal peak of SO2 in mid summer when there is a higher power demand. The difference between the greater SO2 emission reduction  and concentration reductions shows the added input to the pollution from other than power plants (such as diesel vehicle emissions).

local emission controls

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What is the Impact of Hydraulic Fracturing?

Fracking Communities (22 page pdf, Colin Jerolmack and Nina Berman, Climate Change and the Future of Cities: Mitigation, Adaptation, and Social Change on an Urban Planet, Public Culture, Duke University Press, May 2, 2016)

Also discussed here: Fracking Hits Milestone as Natural Gas Use Rises in U.S. (Bobby Magill, Climate Central, May 6, 2016)
Today we review an article that chronicles the impact fracking has and is having on rural communities and the natural forests and parks that lie among them. Although fracking natural gas (and closing coal plants) has been credited with the 12% reduction in CO2 in the USA from 2007 to 2012, the process involves over 1,000 truckloads of water for just one well and 1,020 shale wells have been approved in Pennsylvania alone. More than 15 million Americans in 11 states live within a mile of a fracked well. New York is the only state where municipal bans are legal. As methane is 20 times more radiatively active in the atmosphere than CO2, leaks of more than 3% from a well eliminate the greenhouse gas benefit that methane enjoys over emissions from coal.

fracking traffic

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