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Worldwide increase of air pollution
Date:8/1/2012

This press release is available in German.

Hot summer days cause in large cities very seldom great happiness among inhabitants. On those days the air is highly polluted with automobile and industrial emissions what makes breathing difficult and unhealthy. According to the latest calculations of Max Planck scientist Andrea Pozzer this scenario could become true for most of world population in 2050 if no counteractive measures are taken. Especially China, North India and the Middle East are expected to be affected by a drastic decrease in air quality.

In 2050, the air quality worldwide will be as bad as it already is nowadays in urban areas of Southeast Asia. This is the result of a simulation of the atmosphere done by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. The chemical atmospheric model EMAC used by the researchers for their current study is the first to include all five major air pollutants known to negatively impact human health: nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres which are regarded as particularly harmful.

Air pollution is one of the major current health risks of humanity. At present, urban outdoor air pollution causes 1.3 million estimated deaths per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. That number will increase in coming years. Therefor Andrea Pozzer and his colleagues studied the impact of man-made emissions on air quality in different regions of the earth. They show, what could happen if no further action is taken to reduce pollutants.

"Our study shows that further legislation to control and reduce man-made emissions is needed, in particular for eastern China and northern India, to avoid hot-spots of elevated air pol
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Contact: Dr. Andrea Pozzer
andrea.pozzer@mpic.de
49-613-130-54600
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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