President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, released this week, is arguably the most ambitious effort ever untaken by the U.S. to fight climate change. But it will also create enormous public health benefits by cleaning up the air people breathe, saving thousands of lives annually in the U.S. Air pollution in some U.S. cities has in fact gotten worse over the past decade.
Our map, below, shows air pollution problem spots not just in the U.S. but around the world. It color-codes high-resolution air pollution data (specifically, fine particulate matter or PM2.5) from ground level (data reported by the World Health Organization) and from the atmosphere (satellite-derived estimates calculated by researchers at Dalhousie University). Regions shaded in black are exposed to very unhealthy or hazardous levels of particulate matter, and dark red to red represents unhealthy amounts, using classifications from the EPA’s Air Quality Index thresholds. The areas with safe air quality are colored yellow to orange. We also include locations of the world’s dirtiest power plants, according to Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA).
The map il... Read more