Asian Ozone Contributes to Western Pollution

February 2, 2015 5:09 PM

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Asian Ozone Contributes to Western Pollution

From an astronomical observatory on Chews Ridge in the Santa Lucia Mountains, the UC Davis atmospheric scientist has for the last three years measured ozone, the lung-damaging gas in smog, as it arrives to California. The monitoring site, more than 5,000 feet above sea level on a pine-studded overlook above the lowest layer of the atmosphere, gives Faloona access to undisturbed air from across the Pacific before it is fouled by U.S. pollution sources.

He and other scientists at rural, high-altitude sites across the western U.S. have been documenting rising levels of ozone, which can trigger asthma attacks, worsen heart and lung disease and lead to premature deaths, even as emissions have plummeted nationwide over the last few decades.

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