June 2012 Global CO2 hits 395 ppm while Arctic levels top 400 ppm for the first time. This may sound like no big deal, but it is indeed a very big deal. This should be first page news. If the trend continues, it will be.
Mar. 2012 Air Pollution in the USA has Gotten Less The American Lung Association reports air quality in the U.S. Is at it's best since 2000. It appears that The Clean Air Act is working. In the transport sector big old clunkers and diesel rigs are off the road or running cleaner. In many cities Ozone and particle pollution have been cut significantly. However, the ALA is quick to note that some 127 U.S. Cities still get an "F" for bad air which affects some 127 million residents. On the plus side, improvements have save 160,000 from an early bad air related demise.
2012 London Olympic Athletes and Air Pollution London is experiencing bad air...again. Lung damaging particulates are at their highest levels since they were first tracked in 2008. In 2003 some 800 people died from bad air. The the European Environment Agency estimates that around 50,000 Britons die annually from the foul atmosphere. Could be hard on
the athletes. Is is forecast that few if any records will be set in this Olympics due to the bad air.
Car Air Pollution could cause bad behavior High levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons spewed from cars and trucks could absorbed by mothers and passed on to their kids. By the time the kids reach around 6 or 7 years old, behavior problems can creep up.
Wow, this seems pretty specific. How so?
Some 600 mother/child pairs in the South Bronx, Washington Heights, and Harlem areas of New York City
were tested and tracked over the time period need to make the call according recently
published work at Columbia University.
Air Pollution News
The new line of smaller and more powerful gas direct injection (GDI) gas engines in today's cars cut CO2 emissions, but increase other pollutants by orders of magnitude. They emit 1,000 times more harmful carcinogenic particles than older gas burners, and 10 times more than modern diesels.
Try not to breathe smoke
It can lead to lung cancer!
November 2012 Believe it or not the U.S. Congress has passed a bill H.R. 4480, that basically
rejects air quality levels based on health standards in the Clean Air Act. The bill is headed to the Senate for approval. We urge you to consider this as a major negative action to people in the USA,
as apparently right to life does not include the right to breathe clean air.
After traditional peer review, it has been determined and published in “The Benefits and Costs of the Clean Air Act from 1990 to 2020,” the financial benefits of the Clean Air act will reach some Two Trillion USD by the year 2020 for a $65 Billion investment. That is a B/C or Benefit Cost ratio of nearly 31 to 1. In most business concerns this would equal a gold mine in value.
The regulations contested in H.R. 4880 are estimated by the EPA to prevent as many as 230,000 premature deaths.
September 2012 Computers use a lot of power....not all of it clean. Google data centers alone use some
300,000 kWh, while Facebook takes some 60,000 kWh to keep its users connected.
Using coal to generate the power, at a conservative 2 pounds CO2 per kWh, Google and Facebook alone could be responsible for some 720,000 pounds of CO2 per hour! Given the mix of power used, it is probably a lot less. The giant auto manufacturing Chinese city of Guangzhou cuts new car registrations in half. The new regulations include auto registration lotteries and auctions. It looks like health first.
What went up is coming down. CO2 in the USA went up, but is back down to 1992 levels. It looks like cheap natural gas, renewable energy, and the recession are good news for the air in the land of liberty.
Good News: Air pollution in the Los Angeles area have decreased. Despite still bad air days, in comparison to 1960, pollution levels have decreased 98 percent. According to NOAA, benzene, formaldehyde and propane levels have dropped by half since 2002. As new cars replace old ones, the air will get even better.
Air pollution has been linked to stillbirth among women in New Jersey. For a 10 ppb - parts per billion increase in nitrogen dioxide levels, stillbirth risk went up 16 percent in the first trimester, and 27 percent in the 3rd. Just three ppb sulfur dioxide increases have been linked to 13 and 26 percent increase in stillbirths in the first and 3rd trimesters. Carbon monoxide increased by 400 percent pushed stillbirth risk to 14 percent in the second and third trimesters.
July 2012 Quidong, China: Demonstrators sick of industrial waste dumped in theiw water took to the streets in protest, demonstration and damage. The subject of the anger was a pipeline planned to pipe some 150,000 tons of paper waste into the Yangtze River upstream of Shanghai. Hours after the protest started, the project was reported stopped.
Delhi, India: Air pollution is up 5 times in 8 years. It is getting hard to find good air in Delhi. Particulate levels are way above legal limits. Truck traffic is above legal limits, yet enforcement is lacking and bad air continues to increase. Perhaps a threshold will be crossed one of these days.
Strange news: computer motherboards are being eaten by air pollution. Highly polluted areas in India and China might have sulfur in the air from coal fired power plants. Sulfur in the air can produce sulfuric acid, which in turn eats away at exposed computer components.
More good news. Air in New York City is the cleanest in 50 years. Mayor Bloomberg stated that: "the level of sulfur dioxide in the air has gone down
by 69 percent since 2008. The level of soot pollution has gone down by 23 percent since 2007." This from the NYC Community Air Survey that measured street level air pollution at some 100-150 stations for a period of 5 years.
Finally some good news about carbon dioxide emissions. Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a type of battery that recycles carbon dioxide created from the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Details are in the July 13, Environmental Science and Technology Letters. Reservoir fracking may be producing lots of natural gas, but it also makes some nasty by products. People living close to fracking operations are reporting air that literally burns the lungs, causes dizziness and headaches and sore throats.
The non-profit International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reports that actual new car carbon dioxide emissions are on average be 25% higher than auto makers are publishing.
Tehran, Iran experiences some 200 days per year of really bad air. No matter your politics, that is a lot of nasty air. In 2009 there ware 300 good air days in the city and by 2011 the number of clear air days had dropped to just 150 per year. Oh what a (beautiful?) morning.
A huge climate protest. Over 35,000 Americans from over 30 states took to the streets in front of the US Capitol to protest the debated 1,000 mile long Keystone Pipeline. The new pipe would carry products from the Alberta Tar Sands to the lower 48. President Obama in his State of the Union speech pledged to work towards positive climate change actions. The protestors pledged their support.
Air pollution shrinks babies...sounds like the National Enquirer. However, apparently moms in areas full of car and coal pollution are having smaller offspring. A study in the Journal Environmental Health Perspectives concluded the small kids after looking at 3 million birth records at 14 sites in UK, Europe,North America, South America, Asia and Australia.
Tehran, Iran: Politics aside, the air is really bad. The Governor of the city declared that schools, universities, and government offices were to be closed for the second time in a month (December, 2012) due to crappy air.
Air Pollution causes some 1.3 million premature deaths per year. 800,000 of them are in Asia, mostly Asian cities. The news is that it is actually getting worse. China for one pledges to spend some $56 billion USD in the next few years to help clean up the air in 117 Chinese cities.
Computers use a lot of power....not all of it clean. Google data centers alone use some 300,000 kWh, while Facebook takes some 60,000 kWh to keep its users connected. Using coal to generate the power, at a conservative 2 pounds CO2 per kWh, Google and Facebook alone could be responsible for some 720,000 pounds of CO2 per hour! Given the mix of power used, it is probably a lot less. The giant auto manufacturing Chinese city of Guangzhou cuts new car registrations in half. The new regulations include auto registration lotteries and auctions. It looks like health first.