In many developing countries, the absence of surface-based air pollution sensors makes it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to get even a rough estimate of the abundance of a subcategory of airborne particles that epidemiologists suspect contributes to millions of premature deaths each year. The problematic particles, called fine particulate matter (PM2.5), are 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, about a tenth the fraction of human hair. These small particles can get past the body’s normal defenses and penetrate deep into the lungs.Even satellite measurements are difficult (clouds, snow, sand, elevation, etc.). But not impossible:
Maybe compare different cities and countries for pollution reputation
and health effects, which will probably reinforce that reputation.
Now, with this map and dataset in hand, epidemiologists can start to
look more closely at how long term exposure to particulate matter in
rarely studied parts of the world — such as Asia’s fast-growing cities
or areas in North Africa with quantities of dust in the air — affect
human health. The new information could even be useful in parts of the
United States or Western Europe where surface monitors, still the gold
standard for measuring air quality, are sparse.
Hm, that could have
and not just in China.
In the U.S., if people knew how much more polluted areas near coal
or biomass plants were, new plants would less likely to be built,
and switching over to nonpolluting renewable energy could go faster.
Maybe compare different cities and countries for pollution reputation and health effects, which will probably reinforce that reputation.