5 October 2010
Climate change will exacerbate air quality problems, says Jeffrey Stehr, atmospheric scientist at the University of Maryland, by increasing heat that causes some pollutants to form, and changing air circulation patterns. He says researchers from different disciplines have begun collaborating more to understand better what these long-term changes will bring.
Stehr spoke with AGU after a Congressional briefing co-hosted by the US EPA and AGU on Sept. 28, 2010 that featured presentations by Darrell Winner, Ph.D., acting EPA program director for global change, and Jonathan Samet, MD, director of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Winner pointed out that many greenhouse gases and warming particulates, like soot, also contribute to air pollution and hurt people’s health. In addition, the climate change itself will have harmful effects on health, Samet said, including reduced air quality, water availability, food quality and increased exposure to diseases.
-Kathleen O’Neil, AGU science writer