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First-ever study to link increased mortality specifically to carbon dioxide emissions
Date:1/3/2008

> Higher temperatures due to carbon dioxide increased the chemical rate of ozone production in urban areas
  • Increased water vapor due to carbon dioxide-induced higher temperatures boosted chemical ozone production even more in urban areas.

Interestingly, neither effect was so important under the low pollution conditions typical of rural regions, though other factors, such as higher organic gas emissions from vegetation, affected ozone in low-pollution areas. Higher emissions of organic gases also increased the quantity of particles in the air, as organic gases can chemically react to form particles.

And in general, where there was an increase in water vapor, particles that were present became more deadly, as they swelled from absorption of water. That added moisture allows other gases to dissolve in the particlescertain acid gases, like nitric acid, sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid, Jacobson said. That increases the toxicity of the particles, which are already a harmful component of air pollution.

Jacobson also found that air temperatures rose more rapidly due to carbon dioxide than did ground temperatures, changing the vertical temperature profile, which decreased pollution dispersion, thereby concentrating particles near where they formed.

In the final stage of the study, Jacobson used the computer model to factor in the spatially varying population of the United States with the health effects that have been demonstrated to be associated with the aforementioned pollutants.

The simulations accounted for the changes in ozone and particles through chemistry, transport, clouds, emissions and other processes that affect pollution, Jacobson said. Carbon dioxide definitely caused these changes, because that was the only input that was varied.

Ultimately, you inhale a greater abundance of deleterious chemicals due to carbon dioxide and the climate change associated with it, and the link a
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Contact: Louis Bergeron
louisb3@stanford.edu
650-725-1944
Stanford University
Source:Eurekalert

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