Scientists Develop Standardized Analysis of City Pollution Emissions


A team of Israeli researchers has developed a method to track pollution over the world’s mega-cities, a satellite-based process they say could help hold nations accountable for their pollution and promote cleaner industrial practices.

Using data collected by three NASA satellite systems, the researchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) collected pollution trends for 189 cities with populations exceeding 2 million.

According to Pinhas Alpert, head of TAU’s Porter School of Environmental Study, the research represents the first standardized global analysis of the smog levels in the atmosphere over the world’s largest cities.

Based on the data, collected from 2002 to 2010, cities in Northeast China, India, the Middle East, and Central Africa saw the steepest rise in aerosol concentrations, with an average increase of 34 percent. The greatest improvements occurred in Houston, with a 31 percent decrease in aerosol concentrations; Curitiba, Brazil, a 26 percent decrease; and Stockholm, a 23 percent decrease.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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