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Atmospheric & Environmental Chemistry Seminars

Sleuthing emergent air pollution: from fast-growing tropical cities to the nascent space tourism industry

Eloise Marais, Associate Professor, University College London

Friday, Oct 1, 2021
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm | Remote

Register Here: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJclcemvrj8qH9dd1MH0vBqTWW2ay0SUMJQK

 

Abstract:

Emergent anthropogenic sources in the tropics and the nascent space tourism industry, though distinct in pollutants and location of influence, lack clear environmental regulation to mitigate negative impacts on atmospheric composition. In this presentation, I will share results my research group has obtained on trends in air quality, precursor emissions and urban air pollution exposure from targeted sampling of satellite observations of atmospheric composition over the fastest growing tropical cities. We determine a health burden of 180,000 premature deaths associated with recent rise in urban exposure to air pollution to signal a potential health emergency in tropical cities that are set to reach unprecedented populations by 2100 (up to 80 million people). I will also present results from our work simulating the GEOS-Chem model with our new inventory of air pollutant emissions for 2019 rocket launches and a speculative space tourism industry based on demonstrations of the recent billionaire space race. In this work, we identify that a space tourism industry of routine launches by Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX has the potential to undermine progress achieved by the Montreal Protocol in restoring upper stratospheric ozone.

Contact
Contact:

Zhen Qu

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