The Daily Outrage: Asian ozone increases smog levels above Western US states 

WHAT: Ozone blowing over the Pacific from Asia is raising background levels of this major smog ingredient in the skies above Western U.S. states. Though the levels are still small, they have been steadily rising since at least 1995, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

WHAT IT MEANS: This is the first link between atmospheric ozone over the U.S. and Asian pollution. So far, the Asian ozone was only found in the atmosphere at an altitude of 2 to 5 miles. If the surface ozone also is increasing — it will be tracked this spring — U.S. efforts to control air pollution could become more difficult.

WHY IT’S BAD: Ozone is harmful to people’s respiratory systems and to plants. It’s created when compounds produced by burning fossil fuels are hit by sunlight and break down. And, ozone contributes to the greenhouse effect, ranking third behind carbon dioxide and methane.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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