Monday, November 21, 2011

Extreme weather caused by air pollution: Study

Weather extremes like drought and flooding can affect your indoor air quality, health and well-being

Cloud formation can be influenced by aerosols in the air,
researchers say, and lead to extreme weather conditions.
A new study shows that increases in air pollution and other particulate matter in the atmosphere can influence the way clouds are formed and therefore reduce rainfalls in dry regions and seasons.

At the same time, the phenomenon may lead to more rain, snowfalls and severe storms in wet regions or seasons, the researchers found.

The study was published in the journal Nature Geoscience and provides evidence how aerosols (soot, dust and other particulates) can affect weather and climate.

"Using a 10-year data set of atmospheric measurements, we have uncovered the long-term, net impact of aerosols on cloud height and thickness and the resulting changes in precipitation frequency and intensity," says Zhanqing Li, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Maryland and lead author of a paper reporting the results.

The scientific community is trying to understand aerosols’ effects on cloud and precipitation development, human activities’ effects on climate change and other issues related to air pollution, disaster relief and water resource management, for example.

Aerosols are tiny solid particles or liquid particles suspended in air and can include soot, dust and sulfate particles (as in smog).

The researchers found that aerosols can impact the heating and phase changes (like condensing and freezing) of clouds, which can either inhibit or intensify clouds and precipitation.
Fires contribute to aerosol
levels in the air.

Aerosols come from the combustion of fossil fuels, industrial processes, agricultural activities and field and forest fires.

Source: National Science Foundation

Air pollution and extreme weather can lead to poor indoor air quality

Whether it’s air pollution from outside seeping in, airborne dust particles turning up everywhere or flooding in the home – extreme weather conditions can wreak havoc on the air quality inside and your personal health and well-being.

When it comes to extreme weather, it’s often best to leave windows closed, reduce chemical use indoors, change the filters for the HVAC system and continuously run an air purifier with a multistage filtration system.

AllerAir specializes in air purifiers designed to remove odors, chemicals, dust, particles, bacteria, viruses, mold as well as many other pollutants.

Among the specialized units are air purifiers for mold (which often becomes an issue after floods), air purifiers for allergies and asthma (superior particle control and odor removal) and general purpose air purifiers.

To find out which one is best for your home or office, consult our model selection and sizing guides or contact us directly.