How climate change will make air pollution worse | News World

Climate change will likely make upward spikes of ozone at ground level worse by 2050, according to a new study.

That could result in many parts of the United States falling out of compliance with air quality standards and increasing risks to public health.

Ozone is a reactive gas that consists of three oxygen atoms. And while it can be naturally occurring, at ground level it is often formed by the interaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx)—which are both air pollutants.

“Climate change affects ozone formation through a complex set of factors, but warmer temperatures are correlated with increases to ozone in polluted areas,” says first author James East, a former PhD student at North Carolina State University who is now a researcher at Harvard University.

“That means areas that already have higher levels of air pollution of VOCs and NOx will likely see increases in ozone as average temperatures go up. What’s more, climate change is expected to increase naturally…


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