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Unhealthy ozone days could increase by more than a week in coming decades

If emission rates continue unchecked, regions of the United States could experience between three and nine additional days per year of unhealthy ozone levels by 2050, according to a new study from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) published in Geophysical Research Letters.

“In the coming decades, global climate change will likely cause more heat waves during the summer, which in turn could cause a 70 to 100 percent increase in ozone episodes, depending on the region,” said Lu Shen, first author and graduate student at SEAS.

California, the Southwest, and the Northeast would be the most affected, each possibly experiencing up to nine additional days of dangerous ozone levels, with much of the rest of the country experiencing an average increase of 2.3 days.

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