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Title:Does global climate change affect air pollution in Illinois?
Author(s):Fullerton, Don; Reif, Julian; Konar, Megan
Abstract:This policy brief provides an overview of research on climate change and air pollution, and it discusses the implications for Illinois. The researchers first describe the effects of pollution and then look at trends in Illinois relative to the whole United States. They then describe estimates of the effects of climate change on local pollution, and the effects of pollution on health. Focusing on ground-level ozone—which is projected to rise in the future—they use those estimates to calculate the effects of climate change on the number of “life-years lost” for the three million residents around Chicago. They calculate that the social costs of the mortality increase associated with increased ozone levels in the Chicago area could exceed $250 million annually. The clear scientific consensus is that the Earth’s climate is changing. These changes include an increase in global average temperatures, a rise in the sea level, and an increase in weather extremes such as floods and droughts in the coming decades. Air pollution is believed to have large negative effects on human health. Fortunately, with the exception of ozone, air pollution levels have been declining in Illinois over the past 15 years. However, climate change and atmospheric pollution models predict that ozone levels will increase over the next several decades, especially in densely populated areas like Chicago. It therefore may be beneficial to take steps now to discourage activities that contribute to ground level ozone, such as the operation of chemical plants, power plants, and cars. Doing nothing, by contrast, risks incurring significant costs in the future
Issue Date:2016-07-26
Publisher:Institute of Government & Public Affairs
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-07-20

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