Pollution, Visibility and Mortality

Pollution, Visibility and Mortality
by
Clifford E Carnicom
Mar 12 2016

A preliminary empirical model has been developed to estimate the impact of diminished visibility and fine particulate pollution upon mortality rates.  The model is a synthesis between an analysis of measured pollution levels (PM 2.5), observed visibility levels and published increased mortality estimates.  The model is based, in part, upon previous investigations as published in the paper “The Obscuration of Health Hazards : An Analysis of EPA Air Quality Standards“, Mar 2016.

 

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Preliminary Visibility -Exposure – Mortality Model

Air pollution has many consequences.  One of the simplest of these consequences to understand is that of mortality and the degradation of health.  It would be prudent for each of us to be aware of the sources of pollution in the atmosphere, and their subsequent effects upon our well being.  Measurement, monitoring and auditing of airborne pollution is within range of the general public, and the role of the citizens to participate in these actions is of increased imperative.  The role of public service agencies to act on behalf of public health needs and interests has not been fulfilled and we must all understand and react to the consequences of that neglect.

This particular model places the emphasis upon what can be directly observed with no special means, and that is the visibility of the surrounding sky.  Visibility levels are a direct reflection of the particulate matter that is in the atmosphere, and relations between what can be seen (or not seen, for that matter) and the concentration of pollution in the atmosphere can be established.  The relationships are observable, verifiable and are well known for their impacts upon human health, including that of mortality.

All models are idealized representations of reality.  Regardless of variations in the modeling process, it can be confidently asserted that there are direct physical relationships between particulate matter in the atmosphere, the state of visibility, and your health.   There are, of course, many other relationships of supreme importance, but the objective of this article is a simple one.  It is : to look, to be aware of your surroundings, to think, to act, and to participate. The luxuries and damage from perpetual ignorance can not be dismissed or excused.

The call for awareness is a fairly simple one here.  I encourage you to become engaged;  if for nothing else than the sake of your own health.  When this has been achieved, you are in a position of strength to help others and to improve our world.  This generation has no right or privilege to deny the depths of nature to those that will follow us.

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Models are one thing, real life is another.  It is time to assume your place.

Sincerely,

Clifford E Carnicom
Mar 12, 2016

VISIBILITY STANDARDS CHANGED

VISIBILITY STANDARDS
CHANGED
Clifford E Carnicom
Mar 30 2001
Edited Apr 01 2001

The following graphs obtained from the National Climatic Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, demonstrate a significant alteration in visibility reporting methods as well as data results that warrant a further explanation to the American public.

It will be noted that in October of 1997 a change in the reporting system of visibility data was reduced from a former maximum of 40 miles to a limit of 10 miles. It is a reasonable question to ask as to why that change was made, and whether or not it was made in anticipation of certain events to follow that involve large scale aircraft aerosol operations over large scale geographic regions.

One explanation which has been offered through recent correspondence for the switch to 10 mile visibility limits involves the use of the ASOS, or the Automated Surface Observing System by the National Weather Service, which incorporates a maximum visibility limit of 10 miles. Information on this system can be viewed at the following link:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/modernize/asostech.html. Any reason for the actual change in standard remains unidentified at this point. Remaining in need of further accounting is the significant degradation in visibility as evidenced by the data which follows this change in standard.

It is observed that there are highly significant degradations in the visibility data immediately following this change in the reporting method. Immediately after this change, the dramatic increase in visibility reports of less than 10 miles is quite apparent.

The graphs shown are taken from climatic archive data available for Santa Fe, NM from Jan 1994 to Mar 2001. Three different time periods are shown to aid in demonstrating the magnitude of change which has occurred in visibility. The first graph shows all data available inclusive from Jan 1994 to Mar 2001. The second graph shows the transition zone during which the visibility standards were altered. This graph showns a period from Jan 1996 to Dec 1998; the change in reporting standard was made in Oct 1997. The third graph shows recent data, where visibility below 10 miles is now a regular occurrence. This graph shows the period from Jan 1999 to Mar 2001.

It will be valuable for other citizens to conduct similar archive research in varying geographic regions. This data is available on the NCDC site at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/.

It is a reasonable to suggest that an investigation be conducted to seek an adequate explanation for the change of a significant meteorological reporting standard that has been made at a national level, and the subsequent deterioration in visibility that correlates directly with the advent of large scale aerosol operations conducted without informed citizen consent.

VISIBILITY GRAPHS : SANTA FE, NM
JAN 1994 – MAR 2001
visibility


visibility


visibility

Note: Data points above the maximum reporting standard apparently indicate missing observations.

Clifford E Carnicom
Mar 30 2001
Edited Apr 01 2001