“Climate change is expected to bring about a cascade of effects — not just warmer surface temperatures, but also changes in the frequency of such natural phenomena as wildfires and dust storms, and could exacerbate the air quality problems already posed by wildfire smoke and dust, especially in the western U.S.,” Harvard Engineering School Atmospheric Chemist Loretta Mickley said. “Taken together, results from this project will better prepare health experts and environmental managers for the challenges of regulating air quality in a changing world."
The project, entitled “Effects of Changes in Climate and Land Use on U.S. Dust and Wildfire Particulate Matter,” will provide quantification of how climate change and changes in land-use patterns impact surface levels of particulate matter. The funding is one of 12 grants recently awarded to universities throughout the country, totaling $8.5 million, to study climate change and air quality.
“We hope this research will help us understand how climate change is impacting our air and our health,” EPA New England Office Regional Administrator Curt Spalding said. “Through this kind of understanding we can help better protect human health and the environment.”