Carbon Cleanup Could Save Millions Of Lives

Scientists in an article published this year in the journal Nature Climate Change have shown that a mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions would lead to an increase in the future air quality and health of humans and other animals alike in the decades to come. So, the first point isn’t exactly rocket science as the greenhouse gases come in the form of exhaust from cars and planes and such (pollution), but the second required a bit more research. The occurrence of fine particular matter, that is particles around 10 micrometers or smaller that consist of nitrates, sulfates, metals, soil, dust and organic chemicals has been measured across the globe and a correlation drawn. The relationship is specifically between the PM and respiratory issues such as premature death, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma and difficulty breathing.

Using a projection which would see average surface temperatures 2.6 degrees C above pre-industrial levels by the year 2030 there would be around half a million avoided deaths, with that rising to 1.3 million by 2050 and 2.2 million by 2100. It is expected that this reduction in loss of life would translate into economic benefit which would in the end outweigh the cost of the reductions in the first place: it’s a win win!

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