Reducing Carbon Emission could Prevent Thousands of Deaths in US By 2030
In 2013, CO2 accounted for more than 80% of all US greenhouse gas emissions due to human activity, according to United States environment protection agency (EPA). Air pollution is associated with high number of deaths from respiratory complications. Cutting down carbon emissions will not only favor our environment, but also health of masses.
EPA stated that carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activity. A new study was conducted by researchers at Duke University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies to investigate impacts of polluted air on mortality rate. The findings of the study were published in Nature Climate Change on Monday.
The study team indicated that cutting down air pollution may prevent premature deaths of up to 175,000 people in the US by 2030. It may also help save around $250 billion of health costs, as per the study.
Major contributor in carbon emission is burning of fossil fuel for energy. Drop in carbon emission from vehicles and power plants could also bring down level of pollutants, such as sulfur oxides, mercury and lead, in atmosphere. Researchers also investigated what could happen if the US slashes carbon emissions in transportation and energy sectors by about 75 and 63%.
The researchers analyzed medical data to know extent of premature deaths caused by polluted air. They found that reducing the given level of carbon emission from transportation could prevent up to 120,000 premature deaths by 2030.
Increasing emission of carbon footprint has been escalating global temperature. Continuous surge in global warming has the potential to raise serious climate concerns, like the commonly understood melting of glacier. "Many people view climate change as a future problem, but our analysis shows that reducing emissions that cause warming -- many of which also contribute to air pollution -- would benefit public health here and now," said Drew Shindell, professor of climate sciences at Duke and lead author of the study.
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