Sunday, February 22, 2009

NASA "Takes Aim at Climate Change" via hip-hop (Youtube)

Follow the link to download and learn more.

Clean Air News - February 22nd, 2009

On February 22nd, 2009 (News Every Sunday)
See the last issue on February 15, 2009

UNEP, February 18th, 2009
Environmental assessment of Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Washington Post, February 15th, 2009
Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates.

Sunday Herald, February 15th, 2009
Cockenzie power station 'the dirtiest in Europe'.

Science Daily, February 16th, 2009
Air Pollution Too High Near Some US Schools.

The Guardian, February 16th, 2009
The tropics on fire: scientist's grim vision of global warming.

The Guardian, February 16th, 2009
From crisis to opportunity - Eco-friendly investment.

The Guardian, February 15th, 2009
Coal at centre of fierce new climate battle.

New York Times, February 14th, 2009
Is America Ready to Quit Coal?

AlterNet, February 14th, 2009
Here're the Top 5 Myths About Coal.

New Vision (Uganda), February 10th, 2009
Do we have to live with pollution?

Scientific American, February 12th, 2009
Coal-Fired Power Plants Will Need Better Carbon Capture and Storage Technology.

BBC, February 17th, 2009
Climate curbs need 'people power'.

BBC, February 18th, 2009
London children in asthma study.

BBC, April 10th, 2008
Emissions fines exceed £500,000 in London.

Pollution Online, February 17th, 2009
End-Of-Pipe Air Pollution Control Equipment Market In Europe To Reach $5.5B By 2015.

Science Daily, February 16th, 2009
Pollution-related Asthma May Start In The Womb.

Science Daily, February 18th, 2009
Environmental Impact Of Building Construction Can Now Be Predicted.

Guardian, February 17th, 2009
Tales of our environmental demise are greatly exaggerated – coal reserves are dwindling, and lower emissions will follow.

Grist, February 17th, 2009
Nearly 1,500 more cars in Beijing daily.

Technology Review, February 9th, 2009
Personal Rapid Transit Startup.

Technology Review, February 10th, 2009
Cutting Coal Use with Sunshine.

FinChannel, February 18th, 2009
Peru/World Bank: US$330 Million to Support the Environment.

Times of India, February 18th, 2009
New Buses for Indian Cities under JNNURM.

Mercury News, February 17th, 2009
SoCal ports to start collecting environmental fee to support clean-air initiative.

Pittsburgh Tribune, February 18th, 2009
Cleaner bus air in pipeline for school children.

Telegraph (UK), February 17th, 2009
Lack of sunlight could increase risk of pollution-related asthma.

UNCTAD, February 19th, 2009
Maritime transport and the climate change challenge.

New Tork Times, February 19th, 2009
Who should regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

LA Times, February 19th, 2009
California budget plan would weaken air pollution rules.

Las Vegas Sun, February 19th, 2009
Change in the air for regulatory emissions from power plants.

EU, February 19th, 2009
Africa most afflicted by climate change.

FinChannel, February 20th, 2009
ADB to Help Asian Cities Provide Clean, Inclusive Transport.

Times of India, February 20th, 2009
UK envoy slams govt on pollution.

Grist, February 19th, 2009
Anti-coal activists get a boost from Tennessee ash spill and other mishaps.

Christian Science Monitor, February 20th, 2009
US EPA expected to act on CO2 emissions.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Worldwide Air Traffic Simulation for 24 Hours

A report on the impact of aviation on global atmosphere is available at IPCC website.

The potential effects that aviation has had in the past and may have in the future on both stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change are covered. The state of understanding of the relevant science of the atmosphere, aviation technology, and socio-economic issues associated with mitigation options is assessed.

Calculate your air travel emissions @ Green Seat

Environmental Assessment of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (UNEP)

This UNEP report reviews all the environmental measures that Beijing took for the 2008 Olympic Games. Compiled by independent experts, it reveals that Beijing met or surpassed environmental commitments in several areas including energy, transport and green venues – and that several of these measures have left a lasting legacy for Beijing.

The assessment, conducted by independently appointed assessors (Prof. Greg Carmichael, University of Iowa), finds that the Beijing Olympics met or exceeded many of its environmental goals. Among the achievements highlighted in the assessment are: the increase in blue sky days from less than 180 days in 2000 to 274 days in 2008, and an increase in public awareness of air quality in Beijing; a significant increase in green space in Beijing; and tighter vehicle emission standards, which were the equivalent of Euro IV emissions standards for cars. The assessment recommends, inter alia, that there is a need to: agree on a harmonized standard to measure carbon neutrality in sport; fully engage with non-governmental organizations; and institute mandatory guidelines for Olympic suppliers on materials.

For full report and details follow to UNEP link.

Previous posts on air pollution in Beijing, China

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nearly 1,500 more Cars per Day in Beijing, China

In Grist, February 17th, 2009.

Nearly 1,500 cars a day have been added to Beijing's streets since the start of the year, state media said on Tuesday, indicating new curbs on driving had not dampened the desire for automobiles. The already gridlocked and heavily polluted Chinese capital registered 65,970 new motor vehicles in the first 45 days of the year, a daily increase of 1,466, Xinhua news agency said, quoting the municipal traffic authority. That compares with about 1,350 new cars added daily in 2008, according to city figures. Read more here.

Previous posts on air pollution in Beijing, China
U.N. says Beijing Games largely met "green" targets (Reuters, February 18th, 2009)

Environmental Impacts Of Building Construction

From Science Daily, February 18th, 2009

A team of researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) has developed a method that makes it possible to evaluate the environmental impacts caused during the construction of buildings in advance. Before beginning the works, with just the project data, the new method makes it possible to predict up to 37 environmental impacts (including emissions into the air, water spills, waste generation, soil pollution, resource consumption, local impacts, impacts associated with transportation, effects on biodiversity and emergency situations and incidents). This information, according to the creators, could help improve environmental management in the construction processes.

Read more here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Clean Air News - February 15th, 2009

On February 15th, 2009 (News Every Sunday)
See the last issue on February 8th, 2009

Gulf Daily News, February 7th, 2009
Asthma alerts as pollution raises in Bahrain.

Scotsman, February 8th, 2009
Green groups fume as street pollution soars.

Salt Lake Tribune, February 8th, 2009
Dirty-air problem is growing in Utah, US.

Hindustan Times, February 10th, 2009
Delhi beats Mumbai in eco-concern.

Times of India, February 8th, 2009
BRTS dream may go bust.

Forbes, February 9th, 2009
Coal May Dash Climate Hopes In Southeast Asia.

Economist, February 11th, 2009
Two new Satellites will monitor carbon dioxide emissions.

Colaradoan, February 10th, 2009
Idling has bad impact on air.

Times of India, February 11th, 2009
BRTS picture brightens in Ahmedabad, India.

Climate -L, February 12th, 2009
UK mayors sign European pledge on energy targets.

Reuters, February 11th, 2009
Merged climate (co-benefits), pollution fight seen saving cash.

AlterNet, February 11th, 2009
Cleaner Air Really Does Mean a Longer Life.

AlterNet, February 10th, 2009
Do "Clean Coal" Ads Violate FTC/FCC Standards?

EarthZine, December 30th, 2009
'When the Lights Stay On' - A Novel Approach to Assessing Human Impact on the Environment.

South London, February 12th, 2009
Action on shocking "air pollution".

EurActiv, February 12th, 2009
MEPs divided over congestion charges for trucks.

Tacoma Weekly, February 12th, 2009
Port gets grant to reduce pollution.

Science Daily, February 12th, 2009
Aerosols May Have High Impact On Rainfall, Climate Change.

Russian News, February 13th, 2009
Air pollution affects 44% of Russians.

Science Daily, February 10th, 2009
Oil And Gas Production A Major Source Of Dallas-Fort Worth Smog.

Science Daily, February 10th, 2009
Climate Change Increasingly Impacting Investment Decisions.

February 12th, 2009
Reducing Carbon Dioxide Through Technology And Smart Growth.

Reuters, February 12th, 2009
Model sees severe climate change impact by 2050.

Christian Science Monitor, February 13th, 2009
The 'holy grail' of biofuels now in sight.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

CARMA is Now on Google Earth

Browsing CARMA data just got easier! With Google Earth's bird's eye view, you can quickly and easily explore the world's power sector and compare CO2 emissions from different countries.

Visit to learn more.

(from CARMA team's email)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dose Response Functions for Estimating Health Impacts of Air Pollution


Click on the pages to enlarge view.
For a list of references, access the full report
"Estimating the Health Impacts of Urban Air Pollution"
which outlines the methodology for estimating health impacts of air pollution, database of dose-response functions, and example calculations.

Also see "In news: Mortality & Morbidity due to air pollution"


What are the common health impacts of air pollution?

The pollutants listed below mostly experienced in an outdoor setting (from vehicle exhaust, road dust, industrial combustion, garbage burning, and atmospheric chemical reactions), but depending on the location are known to cause significant health damages in indoor settings.

Particulate Matter

PM (for short) of different size fractions consists of dust, mist, metals, and smoke. These particles when breathed in, lodge in our lung tissues and cause lung damage and respiratory problems. The importance of PM as a major pollutant needs special emphasis as
  1. it affects outdoor and indoor environments and in urban and rural settings
  2. it is the most studied pollutant
  3. there is more epidemiological evidence on the PM exposure linking to mortality (premature deaths) and morbidity (like asthma and bronchitis)
  4. more evidence is linking it to climate radiative forcing (via black carbon)
  5. it is the most monitored pollutant, though data is limited from the developing country cities.
Sulfur dioxide

SO2 in the air is caused due to the rise in combustion of fossil fuels, primarily (to name a few) coal and diesel in the power plants, brick kilns, heavy duty vehicles, industries, and generator sets. It can oxidize and form sulfuric acid mist (aka acid rain). SO2 in the air leads to diseases of the lung and other lung disorders such as wheezing and shortness of breath. Long-term effects are more difficult to ascertain as SO2 exposure is often combined with that of PM (in the form of secondary aerosol sulfates).

Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx)

NOx emissions are the fastest growing in most urban centers, primarily from the vehicle exhaust. This gas can make children susceptible to respiratory diseases in the winters. NOx is the one of the main ingredients responsible for making of Ozone.

Carbon monoxide

CO combines with haemoglobin to lessen the amount of oxygen that enters our blood through our lungs. The binding with other haeme proteins causes changes in the function of the affected organs such as the brain and the cardiovascular system. It can impair our concentration, slow our reflexes, and make us confused and sleepy; and leading to premature death.

Volatile Organic Compounds

VOCs are the other main ingredient in the atmospheric formation of Ozone. In bulk, VOCs can cause irritation of the eye, nose and throat. In severe cases there may be headaches, nausea, and loss of coordination. In the longer run, some of them are suspected to cause damage to the liver and other parts of the body


Mostly controlled across the world, as a source from the vehicle exhaust.
Prolonged exposure can cause damage to the nervous system, digestive problems, and in some cases cause cancer. It is especially hazardous to small children.

Tobacco smoke

Tobacco smoke generates a wide range of harmful chemicals and is a major cause of ill health, as it is known to cause cancer, not only to the smoker but affecting passive smokers too. It is well-known that smoking affects the passive smoker (the person who is in the vicinity of a smoker and is not himself/herself a smoker) ranging from burning sensation in the eyes or nose, and throat irritation, to cancer, bronchitis, severe asthma, and a decrease in lung function.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Waste Dump?

..and we wonder why we have floods and clogged sewage.

Also see the previous post on Household Waste Management.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Transport Emissions Inventory in China Using Average Emission Factors

This article is also summarized in the SIM working paper (19-2009), "A Review of Air Pollution from Transport Sector in China".

The article in the Atmospheric Environment by Cai et al. titled, "Estimation of Vehicular Emission Inventories in China from 1980 to 2005", is an indication that average emission factors are enough for developing a reasonable and dependable emissions inventory.

Using average emission factors and other parameters, the authors conclude that the CH4, CO, CO2, NMVOC, NOx, PM10, and SO2 emissions increased from 5, 1066, 19 893, 169, 174, 26, and 16 thousand tons in 1980 to 377, 36 197, 674 629, 5911, 4539, 983, and 484 thousand tons in 2005, respectively.

Attached below are two tables from the journal article (click on the images to enlarge view size) summarizing the total transport emissions and geographical percentages by species.

The goal of this paper was not only to establish a baseline for the transport emissions in China, but also to illustrate the use of available data and demonstrate how an inventory can be done using simple equations and minimum databases, as long as the methodology and numbers used can be defended. Figures below presents the total emissions gridded at 40 km resolution, using various GIS databases, such as population census and GDP.

It is important to know that an emission inventory like this does not come without uncertainties and simplifications have their limitations, but at the same time, they provide an understanding of the need for more data and disclosure of information for further similar analysis.

Also see

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Culture of Mobility (Documentary)

This post is an extract from an email by Dr. Daniel Rebolj, University of Maribor, Slovenia, on the sustran mailing list.

This evening, 6 February 2009, an interesting event will take place in my city. A thematic event has been organized, dedicated to the "Culture of Mobility". In this we want to show (again) that the culture of mobility and the culture of the city are one and the same.

Maribor, my beautiful city, the second-largest in Slovenia, is to become the cultural capital of Europe in 2012. Today's event will start with a documentary film to open up the perspectives of transportation decision-makers in the city of New York, "
Contested Streets: a Mobility Tour of Four Great World Cities". "Contested" takes its point of departure from the old habit of automatically building new infrastructure for cars every time a traffic problem arose. The world-famous and world-practiced "forecast and build" culture.

This one-hour film shows very clearly what makes the difference between cities where one would like to live, and those where one has to survive.

You can order the DVD from the New York transportation alternatives group at

Clean Air News - February 8th, 2009

On February 8th, 2009 (News Every Sunday)
See the last issue on February 1st, 2009

Birth defects soar due to pollution in China.
China Daily, January 31st, 2009.
BBC, February 1st, 2009.

Indian Express, January 31st, 2009
Delhi Metro saved Rs 2,000 crore in five years.

The Hindu, February 6th, 2009
Massive transition to public transport mooted.

Times of India, February 5th, 2009
Get ready for a cushy ride on city buses in Pune.

Times of India, February 7th, 2009
You could be taxed for driving on busy roads.

Economic Times, India, January 29th, 2009
Transport in policy spotlight.

Economist, Februrary 4th, 2009
Home again, Home again - Transport in London, Delhi, and Tokyo.

People and Planet, February 5th, 2009
Action plan agreed for India's polluted cities.

The Independent, January 30th, 2009
Tanzania develops low carbon economy.

China Dialogue, January 26th, 2009
Winds of change blow in India.

World Watch, January 26th, 2009
Capturing Carbon Emissions…in Cement?

Financial Mirror, January 30th, 2009
European Commission starts legal action on air pollution against Cyprus.

WBCSD, January 27th, 2009
China to subsidise purchases of clean-energy cars.

CBC Canada, February 4th, 2009
Montreal moves to snuff out wood stoves.

NPR, February 4th, 2009
Innovation Seen As Key To Curbing Climate Change.

State Hornet (California), February 4th, 2009
Air pollution fine is example of public agency money grab.

Science Daily, February 5th, 2009
Global Warming May Delay Recovery Of Stratospheric Ozone.

Guardian, February 4th, 2009
London will choke of pollution plan.

Scientific American, February 2009.
How Meat Contributes to Global Warming?

NewYork Times, February 4th, 2009
A Tough Week for Coal.

GibFocus, UK, February 2nd, 2009
Measures to Combat Air Pollution Required.

TMC net, February 4th, 2009
Karachi badly needs cycling, pedestrian tracks.

London, February 4th, 2009
Action needed over killer air pollution in London.

Environmental Health News, February 6th, 2009
Is recycling coal fly ash at farms environmentally safe?

New York Times, February 6th, 2009
Environmental Views, Past and Present.

Seven Point Action Plan for the Public Transport in the Indian Cities

A seven point action plan was announced by Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA), the pollution monitoring arm of the Supreme Court, on February 6th, 2009, for the public transport in the Indian Cities.

The cities are Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Bangalore (Karnataka), Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Kanpur and Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and Pune and Sholapur (Maharashtra).

The agenda requests the cities to
  • devise a strategy for bus ownership and management in the city, based on current best practices and feasible options;
  • understand the costs associated with bus management and options for financing and management, including fiscal reforms;
  • examine the possibility of dedicated and or demarcated bus lanes in the city;
  • understand the availability and costs of urban buses in the country, so that decisions can be facilitated;
  • devise an advertisement policy;
  • devise a parking policy;
  • devise a funding mechanism for public transport.
Also see the 2008 report by the Ministry of Urban Development on Transport Policies and Strategies for Urban India.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Effective Climate Engineering Solutions (New Scientist)

Prof. Tim Lenton of the University of East Anglia, UK, has put together the first comparative assessment of climate-altering proposals such pumping sulphur into the atmosphere to mimic the cooling effect of volcanic emissions, or fertilising the oceans with iron.

Read the article on New Scientist.

The full article is published in Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics (2009).

Check the "Climate Daily Debate" for similar posts.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Clean Air News - February 1st, 2009

On February 1st, 2009 (News Every Sunday)
See the last issue on January 25th, 2009

Guardian, January 25th, 2009
How green are wood-burning fires?

Scientific American, January 22nd, 2009
Wood and dung fires feed Asia's brown cloud.

Brookings, January 9th, 2009
Refuel Economy with Cash for Old Cars.

Morung Express, January 23rd, 2009
Dimapur's Brick kilns are Bio-hazards (Nagaland, India).

Terra Daily, January 25th, 2009
EU to pressure US, emerging countries on climate change.

NPR, January 23rd, 2009
Examining Climate Change On The Air.

NPR, January 21st, 2009
Is reducing Carbon emissions worth the cost?

Vanguard, January 23rd, 2009
Vehicle emission tests coming to Lagos, Nigeria.

Washington Post, January 25th, 2009
Environmental protection takes hit under fiscal crunch.

EuroCities, January 26th, 2009
Milan and Istanbul honoured for innovative public transport strategies.

NewYork Times, January 23rd, 2009
All electric vehicles bought for Westchester airport (USA).

USA Today, January 27th, 2009
Old TVs cause new problems.

Bloomberg, January 27th, 2009
London too polluted to meet EU air quality standards.

Express India, January 27th, 2009
Euro-IV norms by 2010 in Indian cities.

WBCSD, January 27th, 2009
Energy efficiency is the way forward.

Guardian, January 26th, 2009
Why California is leading u-turn on vehicle emissions?

Gibraltar, January 28th, 2009
Gibraltar faces court case on air pollution.

Gulf Daily News, January 28th, 2009
Poison in the air we all breathe... in Bahrain.

Huffington Post, January 28th, 2009
Obama and the California Way On Climate.

NPR, January 28th, 2009
Revisiting The 'Keeling Curve'.

Science Daily, January 29th, 2009
Climate Change is largely irreversible for next 1000 years (NOAA report).

Manteca Bulletin, January 28th, 2009
A true breath of fresh air from Washington.

BBC, January 29th, 2009
Britain warned over air quality.

Scientific American, January 29th, 2009
Clear the Air Down South.

IGSD, December, 2008
Reducing black carbon maybe the fastest way to stop climate change growth.

CNN, January 29th, 2009
Clearing the air on California emissions.

Star Press, January 29th, 2009
Reducing air pollution is an inside and outside job.

Clean Air London, January 29th, 2009
European Commission starts legal action against the United Kingdom to enforce health based air quality laws for particulate matter (PM10) in London.

IRIN, January 31st, 2009
Kabul air pollution a major health risk.

Philippines News, January 30th, 2009
MMDA reduces carbon footprint in Manila.

MSNBC, January 31st, 2009
Most EU nations fail to meet air standards.

Reuters, January 30th, 2009
Waste could be crucial in search for cleaner fuels.