The other side of ozone

Published: Saturday 31 May 2003

The steep rise in the levels of global tropospheric ozone is threatening air quality around the globe, states a study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (ipcc). It reveals that the gas could burgeon by an average of 25 per cent by 2030. In contrast to stratospheric ozone, which is necessary for life on Earth, increases in tropospheric ozone are a cause for concern.

Ground level ozone is already a major pollutant in certain countries including the us. It has been recorded that over half the urban population in the country is exposed for more than 30 days a year to ozone levels above the eight-hour standard of 55 parts per billion (ppb). The situation could deteriorate further. A group of researchers studied ipcc data pertaining to 2001 and has forecast continued increases in baseline tropospheric ozone throughout the 21st century. The scientists reveal that there could be an increase of up to 20 ppb by 2100. They have also highlighted the need for more investigation on the impact of rising surface ozone levels.

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