How climate change may impact ozone pollution and public health through the 21st century

Read the full story from U.S. EPA.

Climate researchers are learning that warming temperatures and heat waves resulting from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could adversely affect air quality in the United States and increase deaths from air pollution exposure. This effect is referred to as the “climate penalty.”

Higher levels of GHG emissions from vehicles, power plants, and other human-made sources are contributing to warming, which will increase ozone. Exposure to this pollutant can aggravate asthma, cause heart attacks, and exacerbate other respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. Air quality managers need to know how climate change will affect air quality and public health throughout the 21st century.

New modeling approaches by EPA are providing this information for states as they work to implement the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. In one modeling simulation, researchers showed that full implementation of enacted air pollution regulations could reduce the increase of ozone despite warmer temperatures, thus reducing potential deaths from exposure. 

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