CARB, NOAA, NASA and San Jose State University scientists team up to study ozone transported across Pacific

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As California continues to reduce local sources of ozone, ozone entering the state from the Pacific makes up a larger fraction of measured ozone levels. Current ozone levels in the San Joaquin Valley are predominantly caused by local emissions, but as air quality standards become lower, any contribution from global ozone levels needs to be understood. An ozonesonde is a balloon which measures ozone from the surface to more than 10 kilometers above the ground.

Study quantifies impact of oil and gas emissions on Denver’s ozone problem

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Summertime ozone pollution levels in the northern Front Range periodically spike above 70 parts per billion (ppb), which is considered unhealthy—on average, 17 ppb of that ozone is produced locally. Colorado has been out of compliance with federal ozone standard since 2007.

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Rice University team links PM2.5 and ozone levels with cardiac arrest

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A team from Rice University and the Houston Fire Department EMS has found a direct correlation between out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA) and levels of air pollution and ozone. Given that the American Lung Association has ranked Houston eighth in the United States for high-ozone days, Rice statisticians Katherine Ensor and Loren Raun, and David Persse, Houston Fire Department EMS physician director, set out to see if there is a link between ambient ozone levels and cardiac arrest.

New statistical method to detect ozone pollution hot spots and monitor instrument failure; combining PCA and MEWMA

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A new statistical method developed by researchers at KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia) can detect abnormal ozone levels within large bodies of monitored data. The monitoring methods can quickly and accurately detect ozone anomalies—localized spikes in ozone concentration indicated by sensor data. Ozone is the reactive form of oxygen that contains three atoms per molecule (O 3 ) rather than the normal two. Resources.

Using ozone injection to control HCCI combustion

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In-cylinder pressure (on the left) and heat release rate (on the right) as a function of the CAD and ozone concentration injected in the intake of the engine for PRF40. The results show that ozone seeding improves combustion and advances phasing. Now, researchers in France have added to that body of work by showing that ozone seeding in the intake of an HCCI engine can control HCCI combustion. Ozone was produced with an ozone generator. Resources.

Texas study finds PHEV use could increase ozone at night, decrease ozone during the day

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A study by researchers at the University of Texas found that in general, use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) can lead to an increase in ozone during nighttime hours (due to decreased scavenging from both vehicles and EGU stacks) and a decrease in ozone during daytime hours. In addition, the study, published in the IOP journal Environmental Research Letters , found that charging plug-in vehicles at night could slightly reduce, on average, ozone. Resources.

Obama Administration withdraws proposed rulemaking on strengthened ozone standards

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In a statement released this morning, President Barack Obama said he has requested that US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson withdraw the agency’s draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) rulemaking. In January 2010, EPA proposed strengthening the NAAQS for ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, and said it planned to issue final standards by 31 August 2010. Resources.

Toyota develops tropospheric ozone-concentration simulator for South and East Asia

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have developed a simulator able to predict tropospheric ozone concentrations across the whole of South and East Asia. The project was carried out in collaboration with Tsinghua University in China, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. Tropospheric ozone is the main cause of photochemical smog, an atmospheric pollutant harmful to human health and plant growth.

Air Resources Board seeks nominations for 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards

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The California Air Resources Board is accepting applications for the 2014 Haagen-Smit Clean Air Awards. Through a series of innovative experiments he demonstrated that most of California’s smog is the result of motor vehicle exhaust and industrial smokestack pollution reacting with sunlight to create ground-level ozone. Resources.

UNEP study: small number of measures targeting black carbon and tropospheric ozone could yield immediate climate benefits

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Black carbon and tropospheric ozone are harmful air pollutants that also contribute to climate change. Reducing black carbon and tropospheric ozone now will slow the rate of climate change within the first half of this century, the study said. Resources.

Study finds pollution emitted near equator has biggest impact on global ozone

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Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Colorado, Boulder and their colleagues have now shown that this changing global emissions map is creating more total tropospheric ozone worldwide compared to the amount of pollution being emitted, signaling an effect that could be difficult to reign in without strategic policy planning. Emissions are growing in places where there is a much greater effect on the formation of ozone. Resources.

California Air Resources Board adopts GHG cap-and-trade program; first auctions slated for Aug/Nov 2012

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The California Air Resources Board on Thursday adopted the final greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cap-and-trade regulation. the destruction of existing stores of ozone-depleting substances in the U.S. Resources. Earlier post.) The cap-and-trade joins a suite of other major climate program measures including standards for ultra-clean cars (Advanced Clean Cars, earlier post ), low-carbon fuels (Low Carbon Fuel Standard, earlier post ) and renewable electricity.

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Fluorescent Probes for Ozone Detection

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Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have developed a fluorescent molecular probe that can selectively detect ozone—in preference to other reactive oxygen species—in both atmospheric and biological samples. Ground-level ozone exposure is a growing global health problem, especially in urban areas. Ground-level ozone is toxic and can damage the respiratory tract. Resources.

Report: Rising temperatures to increase ozone levels

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A new report released by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) has sent a stark warning on the effects of climate change on ozone levels in the state’s major air basins. According to scientists from the University of California at Davis and Berkeley, rising temperatures will increase ozone levels while peak concentrations of dangerous airborne [.].

KIT study finds extraordinarily cold Arctic stratospheric winter enhanced ozone degradation above the Arctic

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Extraordinarily cold temperatures in the stratosphere during the winter of 2010/2011 caused the most massive destruction of the ozone layer above the Arctic so far, according to a study by climate researchers at KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). Resources.

Study finds some refrigerants less damaging to ozone layer can degrade to long-lived GHG CF4

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Some of the substitutes for ozone-damaging chemicals that being phased out worldwide under international agreements are themselves potent greenhouse gases and contribute to warming. Resources.

Study finds rising temperatures increase risk of unhealthy ozone levels absent sharp cuts in precursors

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Ozone pollution across the continental United States will become far more difficult to keep in check as temperatures rise, according to new work led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The study shows that Americans face the risk of a 70% increase in unhealthy summertime ozone levels by 2050, assuming continued greenhouse gas emissions with resultant significant warming (IPCC Scenario A2 and RCP (Representative Concentration Pathway) 8.5.). Ozone formation.

EPA proposes tightening primary ozone standards to range of 65-70 ppb; final rule by October 2015

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Counties where measured ozone is above proposed range of standards, based on 2011-2013 monitoring data. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing tightening the ground-level 8-hour ozone (O 3 ) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) to within a range of 65 to 70 parts per billion (ppb), while taking comments on a level as low as 60 ppb. EPA will issue final ozone standards by 1 October 2015. Resources.

California Air Resources Board posts revised draft of strategy to reduce “Super Pollutants”

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The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has posted a revised draft of California’s proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Strategy.

California ARB moves forward with climate and air quality actions

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On the first day of a two-day board meeting—the second day of which (Friday 24 March) will consider the Advanced Clean Cars Midterm Review—the California Air Resources Board (ARB) took a number of climate and air quality actions.

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Study Links Springtime Ozone Increases Above Western North America to Emissions in Asia

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Springtime ozone distributions for 1984, 1995–2008 in the mid-troposphere (3.0–8.0 Springtime ozone levels above western North America are rising primarily due to air flowing eastward from the Pacific Ocean, a trend that is largest when the air originates in Asia. Resources.

Study: surface ozone in India in 2005 damaged 6M tonnes of crops, enough to feed 94M people in poverty

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Ozone, the main component of smog, is a plant-damaging pollutant formed by emissions from vehicles, cooking stoves and other sources. New research shows that ozone pollution damaged millions of tons of wheat, rice, soybean and cotton crops in India in 2005. Surface ozone pollution in India damaged 6 million metric tons (6.7 Rising emissions are causing severe ozone pollution in some of India’s most populated regions. Resources. Smog in India.

Study: 87% of world’s population in 2013 lived in areas exceeding WHO PM2.5 guidelines

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Additionally, the study found that the population-weighted mean concentrations of ozone increased globally by 8.9% An additional 217,000 deaths were attributable to long-term ozone exposure. and ozone (O 3 ). Somewhat similar patterns were also evident for ozone.

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Researchers identify four new man-made gases contributing to destruction of ozone layer

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A study by an international team led by scientists at the University of East Anglia have identified four new man-made gases in the atmosphere, all of which are contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer. CFCs are the main cause of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. The identification of these four new gases is very worrying as they will contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer. Resources.

Airborne measurements show ozone-forming VOCs emissions from ethanol plant higher than government estimates

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VOCs and nitrogen oxides react with sunlight to form ground-level ozone, the main component of smog. The team also observed chemical transformations of the emissions from Decatur, including formation of new particles, nitric acid, peroxyacyl nitrates, aldehydes, ozone and sulfate aerosol. Resources.

Rice/EPA study finds ground-level ozone falling faster than CMAQ model predicted

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Researchers from Rice University and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report in a paper in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry that particularly in Northeastern cities, ozone levels dropped even beyond what was anticipated by cutting emissions of NO x from 2002 to 2006. The study suggests the Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) model significantly under-predicted the reduction in ozone. How ozone responds to changes in NO x and hydrocarbons is a nonlinear chemistry.

New EPA Rules Further Reduce HCFCs to Protect Ozone Layer

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two final rules that will further reduce the availability and use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are primarily used as refrigerants and harm the ozone layer. A diminished ozone layer allows more radiation to reach the Earth’s surface, leading to serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and weakened immune systems. Resources.

Modelling the Impact of PHEVs on Ozone in Denver

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Denver represents an interesting case study for exploring potential PHEV impacts because it violates the federal air quality standard for ozone and because several large EGUs [electricity generating units] are located in or near the urbanized area. The ozone response to PHEV penetration was modeled under a wide range of meteorological conditions, as experienced during July 2006. Ozone concentration increases were modeled for small areas near central Denver. Resources.

NASA-led study identifies unprecedented depletion of stratospheric ozone layer above Arctic

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A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth’s protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere. The study, published online Sunday in the journal Nature , finds the amount of ozone destroyed in the Arctic in 2011 was comparable to that seen in some years in the Antarctic, where an ozone “hole” has formed each spring since the mid 1980s.

Study finds depletion of Antarctic ozone trumps GHG increase in shifting Southern Hemisphere jet-stream

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Depletion of Antarctic ozone is a more important factor than increasing greenhouse gases in shifting the Southern Hemisphere jet stream in a southward direction, according to researchers at Penn State. According to Lee, based on modeling studies, both ozone depletion and greenhouse gas increase are thought to have contributed to the southward shift of the Southern Hemisphere jet stream, with the former having a greater impact. Resources.

NOAA Study Identifies Nitrous Oxide as Top Ozone-Depleting Emission in 21st Century

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Currently, anthropogenic N 2 O emissions represent the largest contribution to ozone depletion. The study, published online 27 August in the journal Science , for the first time evaluated nitrous oxide emissions from human activities in terms of their potential impact on Earth’s ozone layer.

Study Finds Ozone, Nitrogen Change the Way Rising CO2 Affects Earths Water

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Through a recent modeling experiment, a team of NASA-funded researchers have found that future concentrations of carbon dioxide and ozone in the atmosphere and of nitrogen in the soil are likely to have an important but overlooked effect on the cycling of water from sky to land to waterways.

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Researchers fully characterize reaction that affects ground-level ozone formation; a small but significant impact on predictive models

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The two combine in the atmosphere to make either nitric acid or peroxynitrous acid; the so-called branching ratio of these two chemicals is important in models of ozone production. However, any increase in expected ozone levels will be important to regulators. Resources.

Study Concludes that Rocket Launches May Need Regulation to Prevent Ozone Depletion

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The global market for rocket launches may require more stringent regulation in order to prevent significant damage to Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer in the decades to come, according to a new study by researchers in California and Colorado. If left unregulated, rocket launches by the year 2050 could result in more ozone destruction than was ever realized by CFCs.” Solid rocket motors (SRMs) and liquid rocket engines (LREs) deplete the global ozone layer in various capacities.

Researchers Discover New Chemistry for Ozone Formation; Not Yet Monitored or Incorporated into Atmospheric Models

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A) shows the base case peak concentrations for O 3 (ozone), ClNO and HCl in parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). (B) This reaction is not included in computer models used to predict air pollution levels and the effectiveness of ozone control strategies. Resources.

Fast action on black carbon, ozone and methane could help limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees C

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Fast action on pollutants such as black carbon, ground-level ozone and methane may help limit near term global temperature rise and significantly increase the chances of keeping temperature rise below 2 °C (3.6 °F)—and Resources.

Study Finds Ozone Concentrations at Current Clean Air Standards Levels Can Impair Even Healthy Lungs

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Exposure to ozone at levels currently deemed safe by the NAAQS clean air standards can have a significant and negative effect on lung function, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis. In March 2008, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a new primary 8-hour standard for ozone of 0.075 parts per million (ppm), and a new secondary standard set at a form and level identical to the new primary standard. Resources.

Researchers Find That Stratospheric Ozone Depletion Reduces Southern Ocean Carbon Uptake

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Researchers in France have found that ozone depletion above Antarctica has significantly reduced the Southern Ocean’s ability to absorb atmospheric CO 2 and has also accelerated acidification of southern polar waters, despite lesser CO 2 uptake. Andrew Lenton and colleagues at the National Center for Scientific Research used a model to calculate the changes in ocean–atmosphere carbon balances for the period 1975–2004 that included the impacts of changing ozone concentrations.

Reducing Black Carbon Emissions and Ground-Level Ozone Would Provide Immediate Benefit Against Climate Change

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Reducing emissions of black carbon soot and ground-level ozone would quickly make a considerable dent in the climate change problem and would also contribute to public health and protect crop yields, according to an essay in the September/October issue of Foreign Affairs. Ground level or tropospheric ozone (different than the stratospheric ozone that blocks the sun’s UV rays) is formed by ozone precursor gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, methane, and other hydrocarbons.

Urban CO2 Domes May Enhance May Increase Ozone and PM, With Accompanying Increase in Mortality

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In a new study published online 10 March in the ACS journal Environmental Science and Technology , however, Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson finds that local CO 2 emissions in isolation may increase local ozone and particulate matter. Resources. While the existence of higher CO 2 levels overs cities—CO 2 domes—has been known for more than a decade, their effects on local air pollution has up to now not been explored.