air pollution

The top row of images show each study region in 2005, which had abundant NOx in urban areas where human emissions are high, leading to systems where ozone formation was controlled by VOC amounts. As pollution controls were put into place on NOx emissions, by 2015, the systems in Europe, the United States, and East Asian urban areas became limited by NOx, meaning that further controls on NOx would help reduce ozone formation. 
(NASA’s Earth Observatory /Josh Stevens)

NASA Finds New Way to Track Ozone By Satellite

Ozone pollution near Earth’s surface is one of the main ingredients of summertime smog. But it not directly measurable from space, due to the abundance of ozone higher in the atmosphere, which masks the surface. Now, researchers have devised a way to use satellite measurements of the precursor gases that contribute to ozone formation to predict when and where ozone will form.

by |November 6, 2017
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The Human and Financial Cost of Pollution

We need to ensure that our air, water and soil is free of poisons and to do that we need to take pollution control more seriously than we do today. Many industries have found that environmental regulation is compatible with long term production and profits.

by |October 23, 2017
Falling sulfur dioxide emissions in the United States are expected to substantially increase rainfall in Africa’s semi-arid Sahel, while bringing slightly more rain to much of the U.S., according to a new study. (Francesco Fiondella/International Research Institute for Climate and Society

Reduced U.S. Air Pollution Will Boost Rainfall in Africa’s Sahel, Says Study

If U.S. sulfur dioxide emissions are cut to zero by 2100, as some researchers have projected they will be, rainfall over Africa’s Sahel region could increase up to 10 percent from 2000 levels, computer simulations suggest.

by |May 22, 2017
Students in the “Challenges of Sustainable Development” course presented their solutions for the problem of air pollution and haze in Singapore at Bard College’s Third Annual Asia and the Environment Research Conference. From left: instructor Jason Wong, Annie Block, Chelsea Jean-Michel, Marchelle Lundquist, Elsie Platzer, Francesca Merrick and Bennett Smith.

With a Little Software Magic, Students Create Pollution Solutions

Undergraduate sustainability students explored innovative software and 3D printing to create a set of possible solutions to help Singapore cope with a big problem: haze and air pollution drifting over the city state from burning forests in neighboring Indonesia.

by |April 20, 2017

Spring 2017 Undergraduate Research Assistant Opportunities

Undergraduates from Columbia and Barnard will be able to serve as research assistants on research projects related to sustainable development and the environment with distinguished faculty and researchers at the cutting edge of this burgeoning field.

by |December 28, 2016
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2015 Indonesia Fires Killed 100,000 People, Says Study

In fall 2015, smoke from agricultural fires in Indonesia blanketed much of equatorial Asia. Schools and businesses closed, planes were grounded and tens of thousands of people sought treatment for respiratory illnesses. In a new study, researchers estimate that the smoke caused upward of 100,000 deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore.

by |September 19, 2016

By the Numbers: Air Quality and Pollution in New York City

New York City is known for many things, but having clean air isn’t one of them. Explore some of the issues and challenges the Big Apple faces in clearing NYC’s air through interactive maps and data.

The False Trade-Off Between Economic Growth and Environmental Protection

The investment in environmental clean-up often stimulates other upgrades that enable businesses to more effectively compete in a global economy. Moreover, a clean environment reduces illness and that reduces the need for expensive health care.

by |May 23, 2016
A major impediment to stricter pollution regulation in China is the fear of slowing down the economy. Photo: Nicolò Lazzati / Flickr

Does Pollution Regulation Kill Jobs? Lessons for China from the U.S.

The problem of air pollution in China continues to reach new heights. To combat the problem in any real way stringent regulation is needed. A new paper from Columbia University’s Earth Institute finds that this can be done without hurting job creation.

by |April 6, 2016
The melting toe of the Athabasca Glacier in Canada Photo: Wing-Chi Poon

The Damaging Effects of Black Carbon

Air pollution, both outdoors and indoors, causes millions of premature deaths each year. The deaths are mainly caused by the inhalation of particulate matter, especially black carbon. But black carbon not only has impacts on human health, it also affects visibility, harms ecosystems, reduces agricultural productivity and exacerbates global warming.

by |March 22, 2016