Urban CO2 Domes Increase Deaths, Poke Hole in Cap-and-Trade Proposal  

Posted by Big Gav in

Science Daily has an article on a paper my Mark Jacobson pointing out that (contrary to rumour), carbon dioxide isn't good for you - Urban CO2 Domes Increase Deaths, Poke Hole in Cap-and-Trade Proposal.

Everyone knows that carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas driving climate change, is a global problem. Now a Stanford study has shown it is also a local problem, hurting city dwellers' health much more than rural residents', because of the carbon dioxide "domes" that develop over urban areas.

That finding, said researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, exposes a serious oversight in current cap-and-trade proposals for reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases, which make no distinction based on a pollutant's point of origin. The finding also provides the first scientific basis for controlling local carbon dioxide emissions based on their local health impacts.

"Not all carbon dioxide emissions are equal," said Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering. "As in real estate, location matters."

His results also support the case that California presented to the Environmental Protection Agency in March, 2009, asking that the state be allowed to establish its own CO2 emission standards for vehicles.

Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford, testified on behalf of California's waiver application in March, 2009. The waiver had previously been denied, but was reconsidered and granted subsequently. The waiver is currently being challenged in court by industry interests seeking to overturn it.

Jacobson found that domes of increased carbon dioxide concentrations -- discovered to form above cities more than a decade ago -- cause local temperature increases that in turn increase the amounts of local air pollutants, raising concentrations of health-damaging ground-level ozone, as well as particles in urban air.

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