PAT Roberts

Why climate change makes ozone detection crucial

Ozone detection will be essential in the years ahead, as climate change means pollution levels of the gas are likely to rise substantially.

Ozone pollution is a sunlight-driven process

The National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, has published research showing that summertime ozone levels in the US are likely to increase by as much as 70% by 2050.

It’s an effect that is linked to global climate change, meaning it is likely to be replicated to some extent in other countries around the world as well.

Ozone pollution occurs as a result of a sunlight-driven process, which triggers reactions between volatile organic compounds and oxides of nitrogen.

These can be from natural sources, such as plants, but also arise from human activities like burning oil or coal.

Ozone detection is the initial defence in tackling air pollution

Gabriele Pfister, lead author on the study, said: “Climate change has the potential to make your air worse.

“A warming planet doesn’t just mean rising temperatures; it also means risking more summertime pollution and the health impacts that come with it.”

Ozone detection will serve as a first line of defence in tackling the issue in the years to come; and the NCAR suggests that sharp reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions may be necessary to truly control ozone pollution.