Friday, July 21, 2017

University of New Mexico wins $335,000 grant to study relationship between air quality and changing climate

The University of New Mexico recently won a $335,605 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program to research air quality protection measures that can be implemented to counteract the impacts of climate change.

The funding, which is a portion of $8.5 million that the EPA has awarded across the country, will go toward studying how greenhouse gas emissions and community exposure to vehicle pollution are impacted by changing land-use patterns and transportation systems.

Pollutant emissions can trigger both climate change and public health problems, and the climate change generated by those emissions can worsen their impact on public health. Emissions like black carbon, which is generated by combustion, works to warm the earth, as does ozone in the atmosphere. Ground level ozone can have negative health effects on vulnerable populations, and the atmospheric warming associated with climate change can increase the levels of ozone in areas across the country.

“Protecting the air we breathe — now and in the future — is a priority for EPA,” EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry said. “That’s why it’s essential to have a better understanding of the impacts of climate change.”


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