New air quality research is investigating a major, but often overlooked contributor to outdoor pollution and climate: burning of solid fuel for cooking and heating.
Cookstove studies typically evaluate how they contribute to indoor air quality issues in houses where solid fuel is frequently used for cooking and heating. A new paper from the University of Colorado Boulder appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has taken a different approach, going outside the home and evaluating how cookstoves impact ambient air pollution and climate.
While a single cookstove only produces a small amount of emissions, millions are used daily around the world, and that pollution adds up. It is estimated that every year between 370,00 – 500,000 people die prematurely from exposure to fine particulate matter associated with residential cookstoves in outdoor air.
Daven Henze, associate professor of mechanical engineering at CU Boulder and HAQAST member, points out some of the broader value of studies that highlight connections between air pollution problems and climate change.
“The immediate local air quality benefits can be quite motivating, in terms of domestic environmental policy; meanwhile, the potential to mitigate climate change at the same time is an added bonus. Working on climate problems, which are global in scale and take decades to yield tangible results, can otherwise be discouragingly abstract for policy makers,” said Henze.
This post is an excerpt from a Phys.org news article January 23, 2017: “Research targets cookstove pollution using supercomputers and NASA satellites“
More Information: Transient climate and ambient health impacts due to national solid fuel cookstove emissions, PNAS, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1612430114
Provided by: University of Colorado at Boulder
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