Global warming kills.
That's the message from a Stanford University scientist who used a new computer model to predict how many human deaths would result from a warmer climate. For each degree of added warmth, 20,000 additional deaths might result worldwide from increased air pollution.
The study will be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, and it specifically deals with levels of carbon dioxide and the effect on air pollution.
The study could influence federal court, which will hear California's appeal of the Environmental Protection Agency's recent decision denying the state its right to regulate greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles. The EPA ruled that California lacked the extraordinary circumstances necessary to warrant such a waiver from the Clean Air Act (allowing it to set regulations more strict than the federal standards), but because air pollution is already worse in California than elsewhere, this study could demonstrate an extraordinary need. About 30% of the 1,000 excess deaths that would occur from another degree (Celsius) of warming in the United States would occur in California, according to the model.
Warmer temperatures exacerbate certain forms of harmful air pollution, like ozone, smog and particulates, which have variously been linked to a variety of lung and heart ailments.
Ultimately, you inhale a greater abundance of deleterious chemicals due to carbon dioxide and the climate change associated with it, and the link appears quite solid, he said. The logical next step is to reduce carbon dioxide: That would reduce its warming effect and improve the health of people in the U.S. and around the world who are currently suffering from air pollution health problems associated with it.
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