Monday, April 20, 2009

Carbon Dioxide a Deadly Gas?

The answer to that question is: Yes.

Which is why the EPA was right in making the call that they did when they said that greenhouse gases, which includes carbon dioxide, pose significant hazards to humans.
The scientific analysis also confirms that climate change impacts human health in several ways. Findings from a recent EPA study titled “Assessment of the Impacts of Global Change on Regional U.S. Air Quality: A Synthesis of Climate Change Impacts on Ground-Level Ozone,” for example, suggest that climate change may lead to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone, a harmful pollutant. Additional impacts of climate change include, but are not limited to:

* increased drought;
* more heavy downpours and flooding;
* more frequent and intense heat waves and wildfires;
* greater sea level rise;
* more intense storms; and
* harm to water resources, agriculture, wildlife and ecosystems.
Bold emphasis mine, and here is Exhibit A.
In a "Perspective" published in the journal Science, Peter Brewer and Edward Peltzer combine published data on rising levels of carbon dioxide and declining levels of oxygen in the ocean in a set of new and thermodynamically rigorous calculations. They show that increases in carbon dioxide can make marine animals more susceptible to low concentrations of oxygen, and thus exacerbate the effects of low-oxygen "dead zones" in the ocean.
Carbon dioxide can pose more than the direct health hazard to humans, as you can see above. Those dead zones, mostly located near the coasts also will translate into reduced food supplies. I don't know about anyone else but ... I'd like to be able to continue to eat in the future.

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