Friday, December 30, 2011

India "Green" with Heavy Pollution

An interesting piece from the Canada Free Press..

The National Geographic Society ranks India as the world’s ‘greenest’ society. How did India achieve this? The Times of India explains the National Geographic Society’s logic. “That cold water bath that many Indians have because there’s no electricity…that ‘matka’ they use because they can’t afford a fridge…and the long walk they take to work and back because private transport is expensive and public transport shoddy. There’s an upside to the hard life. Indians may be green with envy at the consumption-driven lifestyle in the West, but their own frugal ways and modest means have catapulted them to the top spot in the world’s green index, making them the most environmental-friendly denizens of Planet Earth.” (1)

Reports Todd Myers, “The very squalor that served as a warning to Paul Ehrlich forty years prior (The Population Bomb, where he said that India couldn’t possibly feed 200 million people by 1980) is now presented as evidence the Indian people (now over a billion population) are, in fact, living in harmony with the planet. Exhibit A for planetary destruction in 1968 turned state’s evidence in 2009, arguing that others should follow India’s lead for the sake of Mother Earth.” (2)

The National Geographic Society ranks countries based on how much beef people eat, the number of cars they drive, the type of energy they use for home heating, and the like. For each of these categories the National Geographic Society cites scientific evidence of the relative impact on the planet. (3) That rating system, however, should lead them to conclude that the India of 1968 was even greener yet, with fewer people eating beef, driving cars and using fossil-based energy, or using any energy at all for that matter.(2)

Todd Myers adds, “The National Geographic Society’s focus on resource use has negative consequences because it sends the wrong signals about how to make real improvements in environmental quality. Calling India the greenest country in the world does not alter the fact that in some of the most tangible and important measures of environmental quality, the subcontinent fares quite badly.” (2)

Some Examples:

A 2007 study by a prominent cancer institute found, “Some 70% of people in the city of Calcutta suffer from respiratory disorders caused by air pollution.” Worse, in 2009 New Delhi was determined by some estimates to have the worst air quality in the world. That isn’t the end of the problems for New Delhi residents—the water in the Yamuna River is so polluted that levels of fecal coliform are ‘100,000 times the safe limit for bathing.’ Knowing that they live in the ‘greenest’ country is probably little comfort to Indians dealing with these health threats. (4)

India is growing rapidly and its major cities experience particulate levels often eight to ten times higher than the worst American cities. India is the fourth-most coal dependent country in the world and has enough reserves to last for the next 100 years. India’s coal consumption has been increasing at 6 percent per year since 2000 and its net coal imports in 2009 were 74,000 short tons, about two-thirds of China’s level. (5)

Carbon emissions in India are rising faster than nearly every other country on the planet. Between 1980 and 2006, India’s carbon output increased by 341%, compared to 321% for China, 103% for Brazil, 238% for Indonesia and 272% for Pakistan. (6)

Two cities in India made The Blacksmith Institute’s 2011 report on the ten most polluted cities: Number 3-Sukinda, India- waste rock and untreated water from local mines seep into local water supplies. The air and soils are also heavily polluted, and; Number 4-Vapi, India-more than 50 industrial places discharge heavy metals, pesticides, and chemical waste. Mercury in the groundwater is 96 times higher than World Health Organization standards. Very high incidences of cancer and birth complications have resulted. (7)

Believe it or not! Far more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet and improved sanitation, according to UN experts. Roughly 366 million people (31 percent of the population) had access to improved sanitation in 2008. Meanwhile 545 million cell phones were connected to service in India’s emerging economy. Says Zafar Adeel of the Institute for Water, Environment and Health, “It is a tragic irony to think that in India, a country now wealthy enough that about half of the people own phones, about half cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet.” (8)

So, there you have it. If you want to be the ‘greenest’ country in the world be prepared to do without decent sanitation and be willing to live in cities with massive air pollution and squalor.

Todd Myers sums this up quite well, “When it comes to air quality, there simply is no comparison between India and the United States. Ignoring this reality should lead us to question the value of the National Geographic’s ranking system. Their index is more measurement of which countries fit their preconceived notion of green rather than an objective test of how the environment is actually faring. Add this to income and life expectancy disparities between India and the United States, and National Geographic ends up giving the ‘green’ lifestyle a pretty bad name.” (2)

References

  1. “Indians are world’s ‘greenest’: Survey,” The Times of India, May 14, 2009
  2. Todd Myers, Eco-Fads, (Seattle, WA, Washington Policy Center, 2011), 216
  3. National Geographic Society, “Green Index 2010-Consumer Choice and the Environment,” June 2010
  4. Arvid Padmanabhan and Rajeev Ranjan Roy, “Delhi’s water crisis is set to explode,” twocircles.net, July 29, 2008
  5. Ian Johnson and Keith Bradsher, “China’s rise complicates goal of using less energy,” The New York Times, September 16, 2010
  6. Priyanka Bhardwaj and Robert Bryce, “India chooses coal, not Kyoto,”
  7. The Blacksmith Institute, “Ten Most Polluted Cities,” ,July 27, 2011
  8. United Nations University, “Greater access to cell phones than toilets,” April 2010

Sooty Skies of China (The Atlantic Wire)



Posted on December 28th, 2011, The Atlantic Wire

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Air Pollution Sources in Pune, India


A recent study has shown that brick kilns, stone quarries and diesel generators contribute to a city's pollution level in a major way. Even though kilns and quarries are located on the outskirts, the pollution travels towards the city. Article published in Times of India (Pune) on December 29th, 2011



The study 'Urban air pollution and co-benefits analysis in India' was carried out in six cities, including Pune, in 2011. Conducted by New Delhi-based independent research group UrbanEmission.Info, the aim of the study was to better understand sources of air pollution.

In case of pollutant particulate matter PM 10 (10 micrometre or less in size) in the city, it was found that around 47% of PM 10 is contributed from road dust, nearly 17% from vehicles, close to 13% each from brick kilns and rural bio-mass cooking/ kerosene use and almost 7% from generators and industry. In case of PM 10, all six cities exceed the annual ambient standard of 60 ug/ m3 (micrograms per cubic metre).
The study was initiated with support from the Climate Works Foundation (USA) and the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation (New Delhi). The research group used the SIM-Air (Simple Interactive Models for better Air quality) family of tools for the study. The tools help establish a multi-pollutant emissions inventory and involve rapid assessment.

Sarath Guttikunda, founder of UrbanEmissions.Info and developer of the SIM-Air family of tools, who was in the city recently to deliver a talk organised by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said that a majority of the 400 brick kilns located in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) areas add to the pollution level in Pune city and that the central parts of Pune city are the most polluted. There is use of light- and heavy-duty vehicles in and around the brick kilns too adds to pollution.

"Diesel generators sets used in hotel, apartments, hospitals and markets is a new source contributing to pollution. Diesel generator sets are a common sight in most parts of the six cities and are a significant source of pollutant emissions and green house gas emissions,'' he said.

Guttikunda, who is also an affiliate associate research professor at the Desert Research Institute, Reno, USA, pointed out that the pollution from fossil and bio-mass fuel usage at brick kilns is a growing problem in most cities. Burning of fossil and biomass fuels releases significant amounts of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter. These emissions have an immediate affect on the ambient air and human health.



In Pune, most of the brick baking is conducted as a pile with no chimney to support to movement of the burning emissions, whereas in Chennai, the same process is supported with a chimney, which allows for release of emissions at a higher altitude, the study states.

Besides the brick kilns, stone quarries are a common sight in these cities. At one stone quarry area in Pune, it was observed that on a daily basis around 500 truckloads of stone, black boulders and murum are extracted and transported to various parts of the district and the state. The health risks associated with constant exposure to the dust particles in these areas is under study. Also, quarry locations account for the re-suspension of dust due to crushing and handling of rock and emissions from the truck movement and use of diesel generators, he said.

The study with recommendation for the city is now submitted to the PMC. PMC's environment officer Mangesh Dighe said he has received the study and will now look into the recommendations as well as the model.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Flight Cancellations Due to Air Pollution in Ulaanbaatar

We have heard of flight cancellations in Delhi and similar delays in Beijing, due to air pollution and winter fog. The implications of air pollution are also now observed in Ulaanbaatar, where the flight schedules are no where comparable to those of Delhi or Beijing, but still disrupting.

Read more about air pollution in Ulaanbaatar.

************
From Shanghai Daily, December 27th, 2011
Heavy air pollution in Mongolia causes flight delays, cancellations

Heavy air pollution in Mongolia's smog-filled capital has caused flight delays and cancellations in recent days, an Air China official said Tuesday.

During the last week, many flights were disrupted for six days except Thursday. And a total of 13 flights had been delayed or canceled this month due to air pollution, a 160-percent increase compared with the same period of last year, according to statistics provided by Air China.

With temperatures dropping sharply in December, thousands of residents living in ger districts near the airport have begun to burn large quantities of coal and firewood to get warm, and power plants are also operating at full steam to meet high demand for electricity for heating, causing a thick smog around the airport, said the official from Air China's Mongolia Bureau.

"Ulan Bator as well as the airport are located in a basin with mountains surrounded, so the smoke is blocked by the mountains and cannot dissipate. Wind also is very rare during winter time which worsens the air pollution here," the official said.

In recent years, more and more people from rural areas have rushed into the capital seeking better lives, making the city increasingly crowded.

The new residents live in ger districts in the suburbs, and due to the lack of access to central heating systems, they burn coal, firewood and garbage, which causes severe air pollution.

Air pollution kills about 1,600 people in Ulan Bator every year. A report released this month by the World Health Organization showed that the concentration of dust particles in the air was 35 times the standard recommended by the WHO.

Pollution from Brick Kilns and Quarries in Pune, India

This is an article published in Indian Express on December 28th, 2011, based on a study conducted by UrbanEmissions.Info

******
Mushrooming brick kilns, stone quarries major air polluters in city
by Sushant Kulkarni
Posted online: Wed Dec 28 2011, 02:19 hrs

Pune : Rapidly mushrooming brick kilns and stone quarries along the city boundaries are major contributors to air pollution within the city, reveals a study by a Delhi-based research group which has used data provided by the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. The researchers have stressed the need to use better technologies for these activities, instead of just pushing them away from cities.



A Delhi-based research group named urbanemmissions.info did a detailed study of the pollution in six cities including Pune, Chennai, Indore, Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot. The studys says the areas around Pimpri-Chinchwad and Hadapsar, where brick kilns are mushrooming, and areas along Nagar Road where there are a large number stone quarries, are major contributors of the suspended particulate matter found within the city.

Sarath Guttikunda, founder and analyst with the group, said, “To study Pune’s pollution, we considered 32X32 km area, which include both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad limits. The data collected over four months of summer shows that brick kilns contribute to the 67 per cent of particulate pollution in the Western fringe areas of the city. These brick kilns are major polluters as most of them use coal and wood and sometimes bad quality oil.”

The study found that in the fringe areas of the city an average particulate matter pollution is 68 micro gram per cubic metre and that in the central part it’s around 111 micro gram per cubic meter. “It is very interesting to note that the chemical analysis done by the Central Pollution Control Board and the model developed by us show that brick kiln and stone quarries outside city contribute to about 25 per cent of pollution.” said Guttikunda. Mangesh Dighe, the environment officer with PMC said, “As per the Bhurelal Committee Report we had moved the brick kilns out of the city some years ago. But there is no such rule for stone quarries."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sources of Air Pollution in Delhi

Delhi’s choking air pollution has caught the attention of politicians and newswires in recent weeks. A massive influx of cars, which are being added at an estimated rate of more than 1,000 a day, is an oft-cited reason for the dirty air. (reported @ NY Times)

But according to data collected by UrbanEmissions.info, a research group that studies air pollution across India, cars account for 25 percent or less of two key pollutants, carbon monoxide and the larger particulate matter known as PM10. Another oft-cited source, open fires used by some poorer residents for heating and cooking, accounts for less than 10 percent of the air’s carbon monoxide and PM10.



Other key polluters, Urbanemissions says, are power plants (Delhi relies on several coal-fired plants for much of its electricity), industries and the dozens of brick kilns that ring the city, supplying bricks for Delhi’s numerous construction projects.

Air Pollution News & Alerts - December 25th, 2011






News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on December 18th, 2011)

UB Post, December 24th, 2011
Ulaanbaatar's Air Pollution - Threat to Health.

The Financial Express, December 23rd, 2011
345 industries continue to violate pollution norms in India.

Mongolia News, December 23rd, 2011
WHO report on the air pollution of Ulaanbaatar.

The World Bank, December 22nd, 2011
Study Identifies Best Options to Improve Air Quality and Thus Reduce Health Impacts in Ulaanbaatar, the Most Polluted City in the World in Wintertime.

Nigerian Tribune, December 21st, 2011
LAMATA, LASEPA set to tackle vehicle emission in Lagos.

Xinhua net, December 21st, 2011
China sets pollution reduction targets for 2012.

The Globe and Mail, December 21st, 2011
Air pollution hazardous to China’s economic health.

The World Bank, December 21st, 2011
Air quality analysis of Ulaanbaatar : improving air quality to reduce health impacts.

TIME, December 21st, 2011
In Defense of Little Lungs: The Challenge of Raising Kids in Smoggy Beijing.

Down to Earth, December 20th, 2011
Delhi to go greener.

New York Times, December 20th, 2011
Surprising Sources of Delhi’s Air Pollution.

UNEP, December 20th, 2011
China Launches US$265 million Ozone and Climate Change Project.

The City Fix, December 20th, 2011
India’s Urban Future.

Science Daily, December 20th, 2011
Forest Health Versus Global Warming: Fuel Reduction Likely to Increase Carbon Emissions.

The Guardian, December 20th, 2011
EU set to charge international airlines for carbon emissions.

IPS, December 20th, 2011
Pollution Real if not Official in Beijing.

Bloomberg, December 19th, 2011
EPA Final Rule for Coal Plants Deemed ‘Unfortunate’ by Industry.

China Daily, December 19th, 2011
City reaches annual 'blue sky days' target.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Air Pollution News & Alerts - December 18th, 2011






News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on December 11th, 2011)

Washington Post, December 17th, 2011
New Delhi’s air is as dirty as ever, despite short-lived gains from last decade’s reforms.

Xinhua Net, December 17th, 2011
Shandong to make air-quality jargon simpler.

NPR, December 16th, 2011
Where There's Smoke, There's Sickness: Wood Smoke now a major Northwest air polluter.

China.Org, December 16th, 2011
Guangzhou to release PM 2.5 data ahead of schedule.

Bloomberg News, December 16th, 2011
Death-by-Air in Beijing Exposes Untold Heart Risk.

China Daily, December 16th, 2011
Industries top cause of pollution.

The Guardian, December 16th, 2011
Energy debate must consider demand - not just supply.

The Guardian, December 15th, 2011
How will climate change affect rainfall?

Wall Street Journal, December 15th, 2011
All the Hot Air in China.

EEA, December 15th, 2011
Homes responsible for one quarter of European greenhouse emissions from energy.

Berita Jakarta, December 15th, 2011
E. Jakarta Achieves Clean City Predicate.

Earth Justice, December 15th, 2011
Erika Rosenthal: On The Impacts Of Climate Change.

Manila Bulletin, December 15th, 2011
DENR pursues clean air program.

OECD, December 15th, 2011
Monitoring and Evaluation for Adaptation: Lessons from Development Co-operation Agencies.

OECD, December 15th, 2011
Private Sector Engagement in Adaptation to Climate Change: Approaches to Managing Climate Risks.

Mongolia News, December 15th, 2011
Ulaanbaatar's Mayor meets with prominent American lawyer.

Mongolia News, December 15th, 2011
Mongolia focuses on bag filters to reduce air pollution.

AEI, December 14th, 2011
Smoggy with a chance of altruism: using air quality forecasts to drive behavioral change.

Asian Times, December 14th, 2011
China's toxic soup.

Mongolia News, December 14th, 2011
MNT 34 billion in anti-pollution money goes unspent.

The Daily Star, December 14th, 2011
Air pollution a health hazard.

On Cars, December 14th, 2011
More tax on petrol, private vehicles and insurance.

Times of India, December 14th, 2011
Public transport too slow for city growth.

NRDC Switchboard, December 14th, 2011
Note to Planners: Homes next to Freeways, not a good idea.

International Business Times, December 14th, 2011
China’s Demand for Natural Gas to Soar with Environment Concern.

Scientific American, December 13th, 2011
City Living Can Heighten Social Stress.

NPR, December 13th, 2011
EPA To Unveil Stricter Rules For Power Plants.

NPR, December 13th, 2011
In Brazil, Oil Boom Brings Environmental Worries.

CBS News, December 12th, 2011
Pollution from China alters weather in U.S. West.

Washington Post, December 12th, 2011
Five things to know about the Durban climate agreement.

The Guardian, December 12th, 2011
Durban climate conference agrees deal to do a deal – now comes the hard part.

Renewable Energy Focus, December 12th, 2011
UK should approach bioenergy with caution.

Climate Progress, December 12th, 2011
Beyond Durban: There’s More than One Way to Reduce Global Emissions.

Wall Street Journal, December 12th, 2011
Beijing Environment Official: City Air Faces ‘Crisis’.

China Dialogue, December 12th, 2011
Battle of the blue skies.

Ghana Business News, December 12th, 2011
Securing a triple win with health and climate change.

NPR, December 12th, 2011
Canada Exits Kyoto Climate Agreement.

NPR, December 12th, 2011
Megacities: Scars On The Earth, Or Keys To Growth?

The Guardian, December 12th, 2011
The Durban climate deal failed to meet the needs of the developing world.

The New York Times, December 12th, 2011
A Post-Pollution Path to Global Climate and Energy Progress.

Wall Street Journal, December 12th, 2011
Official Says Air Quality In Beijing Is at 'Crisis' Level.

Daily Dutch News, December 8th, 2011
Philips supplies healthy cooking stoves and solar LED home lighting in South Africa.

MoNRE, November 28th, 2011
Stubble burning a threat to human health.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Interview of Erika Rosenthal - On Impacts of Climate Change, Air Pollution Links, and Arctic Warming

Interview on how Earth Justice (Washington DC, USA) is engaging the international community in the process of reducing carbon emissions.

We can slow the pace of warming and melting in the Arctic in the near term by reducing emissions of soot and smog, which would have fast climate benefits, especially in the Arctic where black carbon pollution accelerates the melting of ice and snow.

Read or Listen
.

Wood Smoke and Uutdoor Air Pollution Costs Lives and Money in US Northwest

today..
From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

link to an article from NPR below, which quotes.. "In Washington, the state Ecology Department estimates that sooty pollution from sources including wood smoke and diesel exhaust contributes to 1,100 deaths and $190 million in health costs annually."

Now, should deaths be considered as savings in health costs?

*********

December 16, 2011, NPR
Where There's Smoke, There's Sickness: Wood Smoke now a major Northwest air polluter
by Robert McClure,

Wood Smoke now a major Northwest air polluter.

The warning label on the wrapping of neatly split firewood is one we're more accustomed to seeing on cigarettes or heavy-duty chemicals: "known... to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm."

But in fact, heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, asthma attacks and premature death – in addition to cancer – all are linked to wood smoke pollution. It's a finding that poses a vexing dilemma for poor and rural communities around the Northwest where wood is a cheap or even free source of heat.

And in Tacoma, where the air is so dirty it violates the Clean Air Act, authorities are gearing up for what promises to be an arduous and expensive campaign over the better part of a decade to clean up wood smoke pollution. It's an effort that already has some residents chafing at government interference, and one that will set the stage for how other Northwest communities are treated when they bump up against tightened federal pollution standards.

In Tacoma and many towns across the Northwest, wood smoke is a prime culprit in driving spikes of sooty, toxic air pollution that leave some residents – particularly asthmatics, kids and the elderly – gasping for breath. It's especially bad during sunny, cold stretches like those we've seen in recent weeks, because atmospheric conditions trap the pollution close to the ground.

Read More on NPR.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Air Pollution News & Alerts - December 11th, 2011






News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on December 4th, 2011)

The News Today, December 11th, 2011
Brickfields responsible for 40 pc air pollution in Dhaka.

AFP, December 11th, 2011
China minister defends Beijing Olympics legacy.

The New York Times, December 10th, 2011
Quality of Air? That’s as Murky as Western Sky.

Xinhua Net, December 10th, 2011
Beijing planning to use cleaner petroleum, diesel to reduce pollution.

Center for American Progress, December 9th, 2011
There’s More than One Way to Reduce Global Emissions.

Scientific Alliance, December 9th, 2011
Climate change uncertainties.

NPR, December 9th, 2011
What Countries Are Doing To Tackle Climate Change.

Asian Correspondent, December 9th, 2011
Hong Kong’s pollution shame.

The National, December 9th, 2011
China at odds with US over 'hazardous' levels of smog.

China Daily, December 9th, 2011
China is fine with monitoring 'fine' particles.

ERL News, December 9th, 2011
Saving millions of lives and protecting our climate through clean cooking options.

UW-Madison, December 8th, 2011
For Midwesterners, more boxcars mean cleaner air.

Financial Express, December 8th, 2011
Sustainable city and sustainable transport.

Environmental Research Web, December 8th, 2011
Urban areas grow faster than urban population.

The Guardian, December 8th, 2011
Delhi plans congestion charge to ease gridlock.

New Scientist, December 8th, 2011
Durban meeting hears short-term plan to cool planet.

Council of Foreign Relations, December 7th, 2011
The Growing Brouhaha Over Beijing’s Air Quality.

The Green Car, December 7th, 2011
Greener cars ‘not the solution’ to climate change and health threats.

Global Post, December 7th, 2011
Beijingers battle pollution.

BBC News, December 7th, 2011
China's pollution, a toxic issue.

The Hindu, December 7th, 2011
Draft plan to improve air quality in Chennai prepared.

Science Daily, December 6th, 2011
Global Carbon Project Annual Emissions Summary.

BBC, December 6th, 2011
Is Beijing's smog getting worse?

All Africa, December 6th, 2011
Ghana: Climate Change - An Issue for All.

Climate-L News, December 6th, 2011
WHO Report Shows Health and Climate Co-benefits in Transport Sector.

Center for American Progress, December 6th, 2011
Solving Climate Change Will Help Temper Rising Health Care Costs.

Knowledge@Wharton, December 6th, 2011
A Bumpy Road Ahead for China's Electric Bikes.

TIME, December 6th, 2011
Snow Falling on Smog: Is There Any Hope for Beijing's Air?

China Daily, December 6th, 2011
Increased air quality standards to benefit lab equipment firms.

BBC, December 6th, 2011
Welcome to the Beijing smog.

Los Angeles Times, December 6th, 2011
Severe Beijing smog -- or fog? -- leads to long airport delays.

IBN Live, December 6th, 2011
Fright Night in Hong Kong.

Press Information Bureau, December 6th, 2011
Launch of the National Common Mobility Card in India.

New York Times, December 6th, 2011

Outrage Grows Over Air Pollution and China’s Response.

Voice of Mongolia, December 5th, 2011
The South Korean government will grant USD 300 million loan for Mongolia’s health sector and air pollution reduction projects.

The Hindu, December 5th, 2011
Falling air quality causing winter ailments in the Capital.

New Age, December 5th, 2011
Dhaka’s air pollution level alarmingly high.

Scientific American, December 5th, 2011
Three-Quarters of Climate Change Is Man-Made.

The Atlantic, December 5th, 2011
China Air-Quality Catastrophe—It's Back.

Financial Times, December 5th, 2011
Flights grounded in China as smog worsens.

China Dialogue, December 5th, 2011
Beijing’s hazardous blue sky.

Science Daily, December 5th, 2011
Global Warming 'Not Slowing Down.

Science Daily, December 5th, 2011
Dust Storms Affect Subsequent Emergency Hospital Admissions.

The Guardian, December 5th, 2011
China favours EU plans for Kyoto replacement – but with conditions.

The Guardian, December 5th, 2011
Carbon dioxide emissions show record jump.

The Grist List, December 5th, 2011
What record emissions growth really shows us.

Global Times, December 3rd, 2011
First snowfall comes, but air pollution remains.

Global Times, December 3rd, 2011
The micro particles debate.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Will Congestion Fees Solve Delhi's Traffic Problems?

Article below from The Guardian quotes, "This will help reduce congestion … [and] encourage people to use public transport".

How much of this is possible with the limited public transport in place? Compare with the public transport system in Singapore and London, Delhi is not close to the required capacity to warrant a shift from cars to bus or metro, by introducing a congestion fees. Toll roads and fuel taxes aside, congestion fees system requires an enormous scale-up in the current public transport system to make it work and see some tangible results in reducing congestion and related air pollution.

(an interesting response from Cornie Huizenga, attached after the article)

Articles on congestion pricing

***********************************

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/08/delhi-congestion-charge-ease-gridlock?newsfeed=true

Delhi Plans Congestion Charge to Ease Gridlock

No one could fault the plan for lack of ambition: to tame the choked streets of India's notoriously chaotic capital by imposing a congestion charge modelled on that in London, Singapore and a handful of other cities.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the authority charged with providing civic services to the city, hopes to introduce a system to levy a 150-rupee (£2) fee on cars, motorbikes and even rickshaws entering central areas during the day.

"This will help reduce congestion … [and] encourage people to use public transport," the head of the authority, KS Mehra, told local press. Lorries will be made to pay a higher fee.

A congestion charge has existed in Singapore since the 1970s and various systems have been successfully introduced in London, Rome, Milan and several Scandinavian cities in recent years.

Authorities in Beijing recently said they were considering congestion charging, and other Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Nangjing are reported to be interested. But no city of the size and complexity of Delhi has attempted to introduce such a scheme.

Few doubt the necessity of radical measures in India's capital. Construction of a metro system and measures to boost the use of buses has barely slowed the increase in traffic in recent years. A decade of rapid economic growth and a broad distaste for public transport among the expanding middle class means there are now 6.8m vehicles on Delhi's roads, at least twice as many as five years ago.

Gridlock is common and, during winter, heavy smog leads to accidents, respiratory diseases and mass flight cancellations.

Other Indian cities such as Mumbai, the country's commercial capital, are considering similar measures. The Delhi scheme would first be implemented in areas around the historical old centre.

But experts are sceptical. "If you look at what is already in place to reduce congestion, such as toll gates around Delhi, they make the problem worse, not better," said Rumi Aijaz, of the city's Centre for Policy Research thinktank. "Even if the proposal is accepted politically, the necessary infrastructure simply isn't there."

The tolls on key roads linking Delhi with satellite cities cause huge traffic jams. Occasionally they are the focus of protests that can turn violent. Aijaz said a broader strategy to tackle traffic in the city was necessary. "There has to be a range of measures to manage the issue. Nothing done in isolation will work," he said.

Experts point out that one serious problem is a lack of proper licensing or law enforcement in Delhi. Driving permits can be bought illegally and laws that should ensure safe driving and a smoother traffic flow are routinely ignored.

Fines for traffic violations can usually be avoided by paying a small bribe to police officers. There are few cameras, although a Facebook page asking irate commuters to post their own photographs of offenders has met with a massive response.

Senior police officers said charging would be a positive step – if technology to avoid queuing was introduced. But even if the practical obstacles can be overcome, the support of the infamously fractious "delhiwalla" – inhabitants of the city – will be hard to win.

Some shopkeepers welcomed the move, but their customers were less enthusiastic. "People are already reeling under taxes … we don't need any more," Mamta Choudhary, a teacher who regularly shops in one of the areas designated for the new scheme, told the Times of India newspaper.

Ram Thakur, a 45-year-old manager who spends up to two hours a day in traffic driving from the satellite city of Faridabad to his office, said no amount of charging would make him give up the small car that he bought a year ago. "I started on a bicycle and I've taken buses for 20 years. Now I am a car owner and life is very much nicer. I am not giving it up to go back on buses or bikes," he told the Guardian.

Dr Robin Hickman, an expert in urban transport at London University, said that implementing a congestion charge in Delhi would be "extremely difficult. "It would probably be a better option to increase tax on fuel in the city and invest the funds generated in public transport," Hickman, who has worked in Delhi, said.

******************
Dear All,

It is interesting to read this. I just am back from the annual UMI meeting on urban transport in Delhi. As far as I know none of the keynote Indian speeches and presentations made reference to this.

I think that the article is significant in the sense that it points at a growing awareness in Asian cities that it will be hard, if not impossible, to revert the current pattern of growing un-sustainability of transport systems, associated with rapidly growing vehicle fleets merely by investing in public transport and promoting NMT.

Increasingly, cities seem to be willing to put in place demand management measures to restrain the growth in number of vehicles and their use. Evidence of this is for example the decision of Beijng and other cities in China to follow the example of Singapore and Shanghai who for more than 10 years have had a vehicle quota system. The economic success of these two cities clearly demonstrates that restraining the number of vehicles does not undermine economic growth.

A quota system can be implemented more easily and it is cheaper to administer. If it is operated on the basis of an auction system it can also generate substantial funding which should be a major contribution towards improving public transport and NMT, except in the case of metro's which are more expensive. In Shanghai, about 100,000 car licenses are auctioned each year resulting in about $ 600 million in income.

The basic underlying premise is of course that road space is not a free commodity and that access to its use by cars can be regulated in the same manner as other parts of the city such as land for construction where public lands are sold/leased or taxed for private development and the proceeds are used for developing schools, hospitals etc.

Cornie

Revealing the costs of Air Pollution from Industrial Facilities in Europe

today..
From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

Link to the report after my comments..

--------------
On page 18, they say "One data point from the E-PRTR database was corrected prior to analysis as it appeared to have been reported incorrectly by three orders of magnitude when compared to the reported emissions of the other pollutants from the facility. This was the value for SOx emissions from the 'Teplárna Strakonice' plant (facility ID 14301) in the Czech Republic for which the reported estimate of 1 250 000 tonnes of SOx was taken to be 1 250 tonnes."

The same page also has Table 2.1 giving a figure "42 568 284 670" for "Aggregated national total emissions (tonnes)" - presumably for the 30-odd countries covered by the report.

This 42.6 billion tonne CO2 estimate is about 27% higher than the 33.4 billion tons of WORLDWIDE CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in 2010 (Link).

Yes, EEA says they count biomass CO2 as well, but surely these facilities don't burn whole forests down every year.

Looks like EEA is sensitive about some orders of magnitude, not all.

------------
Also, these are not "costs" in the sense of having been expended. They are "imputed" costs. Mostly in terms of health damages, but in the case of CO2, on "marginal abatement costs", which are debatable. In any case, there is very little evidence that CO2 is a health pollutant (except in heavily congested closed rooms).

Excluding CO2, seems like they would impute a cost less than ~$200 per capita per year or less than 1% of GDP. Another way of looking at it is that the actual health expenditures are perhaps in the range of $500-1,500 depending on the country, all diseases and health conditions included, so putting out an imputed cost that is 10-20% of the total health budget is largely an arithmetical exercise.

------------
Read the full press release

Air pollution from the 10,000 largest polluting facilities in Europe cost citizens between € 102 and 169 billion in 2009. This was one of the findings of a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) which analysed the costs of harm to health and the environment caused by air pollution. Half of the total damage cost (between € 51 and 85 billion) was caused by just 191 facilities.

Key Findings
  • Air pollution by the facilities covered by EEA’s analysis cost every European citizen approximately € 200-330 on average in 2009.
  • Countries such as Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, where a high number of large facilities are located, contribute the most to the total damage costs. However, when damage costs are weighted in an attempt to reflect the productivity of national economies, the ordering of countries changes significantly. The emissions from countries such as Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic are then relatively more important with regard to the damage costs.
  • A small number of individual facilities cause the majority of damage costs. Three quarters of the total damage costs were caused by the emissions from just 622 industrial facilities – 6 % of the total number. The facilities with emissions associated with a high damage cost are in most cases some of the largest facilities in Europe which release the greatest amount of pollutants.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions contribute the most to the overall damage costs, approximately €63 billion in 2009. Air pollutants, which contribute to acid rain and can cause respiratory problems - sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), particulate matter (PM10) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) - were found to cause €38-105 billion of damage a year.
Read the full report
Revealing the costs of air pollution from industrial facilities in Europe
@ http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/cost-of-air-pollution

Other news and articles on impacts of air pollution
@ http://urbanemissions.info/sim-series-06/mortalityandmorbidity.html

Thursday, December 08, 2011

WHO on Climate Co-benefits of walking and bicycling

today..
From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

More for Asia, Africa than Europe?

Good criticism of IPCC review (see p. 4-5), though I suspect the guidelines limit coverage of land use planning issues unless there is new literature.

"“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Ok, but how does one deal with disease and infirmity?

******

WHO Report Shows Health and Climate Co-benefits in Transport Sector

6 December 2011: The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a report on the health benefits of low-carbon transport measures, such as rapid transit, walking or cycling, as part of its "Health in the Green Economy" series.

Launched at a side event during the Durban Climate Change Conference, the report outlines strategies that can help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the transport sector while generating health benefits.

The report's key messages stress that a combination of active modes of transport, such as walking or cycling, rapid transport and improved land use to improve access to key destinations by these modes, can yield much greater immediate health co-benefits than improving fuel and vehicle efficiencies.

Such health benefits include reduced cardiovascular and respiratory disease from air pollution, less traffic injury and noise-related stress, and prevention of some cancers, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other obesity-related risks. Meanwhile, the report notes, a shift to fuel efficient diesel engines could increase emissions of health-damaging small particulates.

Recommended strategies include: integrating urban residential and commercial areas through more compact land use; including health and equity costs in cost-benefit analyses of transport projects; and improving active transport, rapid transit and public transport as cost effective measures to mitigate GHG emissions.

The report further stresses that healthier transport strategies also can help close the health equity gap in low- and middle-income countries by: reducing air pollution; providing benefits to women, older adults, children, people with disabilities and lower income groups; reducing the need for biofuels and related threats to food security; and reducing the use of older, more polluting vehicles.

Access the full report and press release on Climate-L News.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Air Pollution News & Alerts - December 4th, 2011






News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on November 27th, 2011)

Nature, December 4th, 2011
Three-quarters of climate change is man-made.

All Africa, December 4th, 2011
Africa: Change Ways of Cooking to Save Climate - World Bank Warns.

NPR, December 4th, 2011
A User's Guide To The Climate Change Talks.

Science Daily, November 30th, 2011
Gone With the Wind: Why the Fast Jet Stream Winds Cannot Contribute Much Renewable Energy After All.

The Guardian, December 4th, 2011
Durban climate talks 'roadmap' held up by India.

Press Information Bureau, December 3rd, 2011
Urban Mobility India 2011 to Address Ways to Achieve Sustainable Mobility.

Africa Science News, December 2nd, 2011
New Bamboo Charcoal Technologies Promise to Jump-start Africa’s Bioenergy Sector.

Bloomberg Business Week, December 2nd, 2011
How to Fix World Transportation.

New York Times, December 2nd, 2011
New Air Quality Rules for Power Plants in Dispute.

3 News, December 2nd, 2011
Rome limits traffic to lower pollution levels.

Info Mongolia, December 2nd, 2011
The work plan for air pollution reduction was ratified.

Moneylife, December 1st, 2011
Is Metro Rail not the answer for India’s urban transportation?

NRDC Switchboard, December 1st, 2011
Higher Education Paves a Way Forward on Climate Change.

Salon, December 1st, 2011
Are freeways doomed?

China Daily, December 1st, 2011
Beijing sees fewer 'blue sky days'.

AFP, December 1st, 2011
Smog sparks debate over Beijing air standards.

Market Watch, December 1st, 2011
NASA Satellite Confirms Sharp Decline in Pollution From U.S. Coal Power Plants.

China Dialogue, December 1st, 2011
A shadow climate regime.

India Today, November 30th, 2011
Delhi has the highest level of air pollutants.

The Guardian, November 30th, 2011
EU takes hardline stance at UN climate talks.

Mongolia News, November 30th, 2011
Working plan on air pollution approved.

NRDC Switchboard, November 30th, 2011
EPA's proposal for clearing the air of oil and gas pollution: a step forward, but not enough.

China Daily, November 30th, 2011
Mongolian government approves new measures to combat air pollution.

China Daily, November 29th, 2011
More blocked noses due to smog.

Think Progress Green, November 29th, 2011
Durban Dispatch: South Africa’s Globally Financed Coal Mega-Plants.

Los Angeles Times, November 29th, 2011
Brown cloud might be intensifying storms over Indian Ocean.

NPR, November 29th, 2011
What Will Become Of The Kyoto Climate Treaty?

UB Post, November 29th, 2011
Ulaanbaatar and London.

China Daily, November 29th, 2011
Scientists highlight pollutant problem.

ECOFYS, November 28th, 2011
UNEP Bridging the Emissions Gap.

Wall Street Journal, November 28th, 2011
Canada Won't Make Second Commitment To Kyoto - Environment Minister.

Climate Progress, November 28th, 2011
Researchers Genetically Engineer Algae to Increase Oil Yields by Up to 50%: Should We Be Concerned?

China Daily, November 27th, 2011
Green drivers.

Forbes, November 27th, 2011
Why China Cannot Fight Pollution.

Xinhua Net, November 25th, 2011
China gives new-energy vehicles official nod.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Air Pollution News & Alerts - November 27th, 2011






News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on November 20th, 2011)

The Guardian, November 27th, 2011
Wood fires fuel climate change – UN.

Climate-L News, November 25th, 2011
Ozone COP/MOP Does Not Address HFCs Phase-Down.

BBC, November 25th, 2011
Climate sensitivity to CO2 probed.

Science Daily, November 25th, 2011
Fifth of Global Energy Could Come from Biomass Without Damaging Food Production.

EEA, November 24th, 2011
Industrial air pollution cost Europe up to €169 billion in 2009.

Science Daily, November 24th, 2011
Climate Sensitivity to Carbon Dioxide More Limited Than Extreme Projections.

China Daily, November 24th, 2011
China punishes power plants for pollution.

The Guardian, November 24th, 2011
Industrial pollution 'costs UK billions each year'.

ABC News, November 24th, 2011
EU Agency: Air Pollution Costs Exceed $134 Billion.

China.org, November 24th, 2011
WWF to promote low-carbon innovation in China.

Policy Shop, November 24th, 2011
Bad Energy: The High Price of Coal.

Huffington Post, November 23rd, 2011
The Foul Air Outside My Window.

Mongolia News, November 22nd, 2011
Ulaanbaatar managing officials discuss winter preparation.

UN-HABITAT, November 22nd, 2011
Cities and Climate Change Policy Note 2.

The Sunday Independent, November 21st, 2011
Climate cash deals are killing us.

The Times of India, November 21st, 2011
A moveable feast.

Science Daily, November 21st, 2011
Algae Biomass Increased by More Than 50 Percent.

Science Daily, November 21st, 2011
Second-Generation Ethanol Processing Cost Prohibitive.

BBC, November 21st, 2011
Climate concerns as ‘ozone-friendly’ HFCs use grows.

BBC, November 21st, 2011
No let up in greenhouse gas rise.

NY Times, November 21st, 2011
New Delhi, Now More Polluted Than Beijing.

Mongolia News, November 18th, 2011
National Committee reports on anti-pollution efforts.

Biofuels Digest, November 18th, 2011
Bioenergy Critical Success Factors.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bicycling for an Aging America

today..
From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

Two thoughts on bicycles and similar non-motorized transport options:

1. America is greying, and no telling when the grey would return to cities rather than in outer suburbs (or that suburbs with high grey densities would appear). The numbers for people aged 15-54 and 55+ for 1980 were 145 and 52 m; for 2011 are 172 and 91 m; for 2040 will be 190 and 149 m respectively. As % of total population, 57 and 21 in 1980; 53 and 28 in 2011; 46 and 36%.

If you take 15-40 as the bicycling age, 95, 106 and 98 m respectively.

Today's bicyclists (15-40) will be in the 45-70 age group then and 106 m strong in 2040.

An older population can also use bicycles and enjoy the health benefits. Keeping roads safe for them as well, not just the next younger generation, is an important consideration.

Besides, retirees may find gas cars much more expensive as their incomes decline and gas prices go up.

The 45-70 age cyclist group of the future will ride at lower speeds, and may well compete with the younger age for the cycle lanes and parking spaces. Since not all bicycling regulations can be age-separated, the best is to accommodate as much of both groups as possible in the planning and regulatory process.

2. For US locales, where distances are longer, a large market potential lies in electric and hybrid (pedal-battery) scooters and tricycles for the seniors. (Seniors would ride slower but may brake more often, hence a hybrid.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Air Pollution News & Alerts - November 20th, 2011






News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on November 13th, 2011)

Down to Earth, November, 2011
Diesel: when bad policy makes for toxic hell.

Mongolia News, November 20th, 2011
"Nature" publishes article of Mongolia Scientist.

China Daily, November 18th, 2011
Car owners return extra subsidies.

NPR, November 18th, 2011
Climate Panel: More Extreme Weather On The Way.

CNN, November 18th, 2011
China air pollution: 'Slightly polluted' or 'hazardous'?

Times of India, November 18th, 2011
Project for better monsoon forecast to be launched in Jan that will enable better forecast of monsoon in country to be launched in January 2012.

Eur Activ, November 17th, 2011
Air pollution 'hot potato' for London Olympics.

Pakistan Today, November 17th, 2011
Unnaturally yours.

IEW News, November 17th, 2011
IEA Warns of Irreversible Climate Change in 5 Years if Fossil Fuel Infrastructure Remains Unchanged.

BBC, November 17th, 2011
China morning round-up: US Asia policy under fire.

Triple Pundit, November 17th, 2011
Beijing’s EPA: The Air Quality is Just Fine.

Manila Bulletin, November 17th, 2011
DENR seeks improved air quality.

EurActiv, November 17th, 2011
MEPs push for strong EU role in climate talks.

Xinhua Net, November 17th, 2011
Pollution measures for public feedback.

The Nation, November 17th, 2011
Fed Govt backs $100m Lagos transport project.

Times of India, November 17th, 2011
Delhi four times more polluted than Pune on Diwali night.

China Human Rights, November 17th, 2011
Air quality standards to cover PM2.5 by 2016.

Science Daily, November 17th, 2011
Nanoparticles Used as Additives in Diesel Fuels Can Travel from Lungs to Liver.

Science Daily, November 16th, 2011
Acid Pollution in Rain Decreased With Emissions, Long-Term Study Shows.

BBC, November 16th, 2011
UN warns Chinese pollution has dire health implications.

Reuters, November 16th, 2011
Analysis: China climate role could be to corner U.S.

Io9, November 16th, 2011
Why the U.N.’s Development Index is destroying the future.

Earth Justice, November 16th, 2011
35,700 Deaths Could Be Prevented Annually by Strong Soot Standards.

Progress Illinois, November 16th, 2011
New EPA Rules Target Coal Plant Emissions.

Nature, November 16th, 2011
Time to stop celebrating the polluters.

Shanghai Daily, November 15th, 2011
Wind expected to clear air pollution.

Xinhua Net, November 15th, 2011
China eyes green growth, vows to curb pollution.

Deccan Herald, November 15th, 2011
Tata Hispano unveils its hybrid CNG-Electric bus.

Euractiv, November 14th, 2011
Bulgaria’s killer air exposes wider EU problems.

Science Daily, November 13th, 2011
Climate Policies Can Help Resolve Energy Security and Air Pollution Challenges.

NPR, November 11th, 2011
Air Pollution: Bad For Health, But Good For Planet?

Science Daily, November 10th, 2011
Woodsmoke from Cooking Fires Linked to Pneumonia, Cognitive Impacts.

Climate-L News, November 10th, 2011
ADB Approves US$100 Million for Low Carbon Growth, Climate Resilience in Indonesia.

CNN, September 21st, 2011
New climate study deals blow to skeptics.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Air Pollution News & Alerts - November 13th, 2011






News & Information; Every Sunday
(Last on November 6th, 2011)

The Jerusalem Post,
OECD officials commend Israel on environment.

The Financial Express, November 13th, 2011
CNG-consuming assocs threaten to go on indefinite strike.

The Atlantic, November 12th, 2011
How Walmart Is Changing China.

Reuters, November 11th, 2011
China official says air pollution rules too lax.

NPR, November 11th, 2011
Air Pollution: Bad For Health, But Good For Planet?

The Huffington Post, November 11th, 2011
The Arctic and Responsible Adaptation to Climate Change.

The Telegraph UK, November 11th, 2011
China concedes it underestimates air pollution levels.

The City Fix, November 10th, 2011
Embracing the Opportunity for Sustainable Urban Development in China.

Times of India, November 9th, 2011
10 yrs on, CNG advantage lost.

People's Daily Online, November 9th, 2011
Market blow away 'special air' rumors.

New York Times, November 9th, 2011
The Developing World, Leading on Climate Change?

People's Daily Online, November 9th, 2011
Expert: Heavy fog different from air pollution.

China Daily, November 9th, 2011
Beijing's air-quality center opens to public.

TG Daily, November 9th, 2011
Climate disasters costing billions in health costs.

NDTV, November 9th, 2011
Environment Ministry gives conditional clearance to Lavasa.

EBRD, November 8th, 2011
EBRD, World Bank join forces to cut emissions from gas flaring in Russia and Central Asia.

Hindustan Times, November 8th, 2011
Toxic Capital air killing like never before.

Shanghai Daily, November 8th, 2011
Air in many China cities remains highly polluted.

Global Times, November 8th, 2011
Beijing environmental agency shows the city recorded 239 days of good air.

Wall Street Journal, November 8th, 2011
The Hidden Toll of Traffic Jams.

NRDC, November 8th, 2011
Health Costs from Extreme Weather Events $14 Billion, We're Workin' On It.

China.Org, November 8th, 2011
Beijing environmental authority responds to public scrutiny.

Tehelka, November 8th, 2011
Blame pollution, truck overloading for haze in city.

China Dialogue, November 8th, 2011
US car fumes: a call to arms for China.

Live Mint, November 7th, 2011
Soot blamed for rising cyclone strength, drop in rainfall.

Washington Times, November 7th, 2011
China moves, haltingly, to clean up environmental mess.

Railway Gazette, November 7th, 2011
Ambitious plans in Kathmandu for Metrorail.

Inhabitat, November 7th, 2011
Uganda’s First Electric Car Built by Makerere Students.

Huffington Post, November 7th, 2011
Many Americans left behind in the quest for cleaner air.

China Daily, November 7th, 2011
Tighter air quality monitoring in Beijing.

International Business Times, November 7th, 2011
China Urged To Implement Stricter Air Monitoring Standards.

China Daily, November 6th, 2011
Electric taxis to triple in Beijing next year.

Times of India, November 5th, 2011
Haze in Delhi sets off air pollution alarm.

CNTN, November 5th, 2011
Public scrutiny pushes air quality monitoring.

C-Net, November 2nd, 2011
USDA awards $44.6 million for biofuel projects.

The Hindu, November 2nd, 2011
Bengal headed for a power crisis.

Speigel Online, October 26th, 2011
Chinese Scientists Warn of Significant Glacier Melt.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Introduction to Black Carbon by NOAA



Transcript

NARRATOR: Black carbon is the fancy name for soot. And like carbon dioxide, it’s causing changes in the Arctic climate.

Black carbon comes from the burning of fossil fuels, like coal and diesel, and from forest fires, and cookstoves. The majority reaching the Arctic comes from North America and Eurasia.

Studies suggest that black carbon is contributing to the acceleration of sea ice melting in the Arctic. Loss of this ice would lead to more rapid warming and possibly irreversible climate change.

Black carbon is dark in color and warms the Earth in two ways: When it’s in the air, the particles absorb sunlight and generate heat in the atmosphere. This can affect cloud formation and rain patterns. When it covers snow and ice, the sun’s radiation is absorbed instead of being reflected back into the atmosphere. This again generates heat and speeds up melting.

It’s like wearing a black shirt on a sunny day. You’re going to feel hot. To stay cooler, you would wear a light-colored shirt that would reflect the sun’s warmth.

Scientists from around the world are studying black carbon from all possible angles. They’re using ships, snowmobiles, weather balloons, as well as manned and unmanned aircraft to collect data.

The instruments on board measure the total numbers of particles in the atmosphere, including the number of soot particles, and chemicals that can identify where the soot comes from. They also measure incoming radiation from the sun and the reflectivity of snow and ice covered surfaces. Newly fallen snow is also analyzed to trace where the black carbon is coming from.

The bad news is that black carbon is contributing to the acceleration of sea ice melting in the Arctic. The good news is that since black carbon is a particle and not a gas, it doesn’t last very long in the atmosphere. This means reducing the amount people produce can have immediate effects on the rate of climate change.

Scientists are hopeful that their research findings from the Arctic will help world leaders develop strategies for change, so that black carbon can no longer leave a dirty footprint on our world.

Link to the video on NOAA.