Powerful new dataset reveals patterns of global ozone pollution

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Gawdzilla Sama
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Powerful new dataset reveals patterns of global ozone pollution

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:07 am

Powerful new dataset reveals patterns of global ozone pollution

Date: February 5, 2018

Source: University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary: Although ozone pollution is dropping across many parts of the United States, western Europe and Japan, many people living in those countries still experience more than a dozen days every year in which levels of the lung irritant exceed health-based standards.
Although ozone pollution is dropping across many parts of the United States, western Europe and Japan, many people living in those countries still experience more than a dozen days every year in which levels of the lung irritant exceed health-based standards.

That's one conclusion from a new health assessment based on the Tropospheric Ozone Assessment Report or TOAR, an effort by the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project to create the world's most comprehensive database of surface ozone observations from all available ozone monitoring stations around the globe. The paper was published today in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene.

The international scientists who compiled and analyzed the global ozone pollution database hope it will give scientists and public health managers better insight on trends and patterns of human health exposure around the world.

"TOAR is not just a report," said Owen Cooper, a CIRES scientist working at NOAA who chairs the TOAR Steering Committee and has been working to develop the assessment since 2014. "We created the largest database of surface ozone from hourly observations at more than 4,800 monitoring sites worldwide, and we're making these data freely available to anyone who wants to investigate the impact of ozone on human health, vegetation, and climate."

Tropospheric or ground-level ozone is a greenhouse gas and air pollutant that, at high levels, is detrimental to human health and crop and ecosystem productivity. Ground-level ozone is a secondary pollutant, meaning that it is not emitted directly, but forms when sunlight triggers reactions between natural and human-caused chemical emissions, known as ozone precursor gases. Emissions from vehicles, power plants, industrial operations, and other human activities are a primary cause of surface ozone, which is one of six main pollutants regulated in the U.S. by the Clean Air Act.
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