Climate Change Is in the Air: Investigating Climate and Air Quality in Atlanta Open Access

Li, Emily Sun (2017)

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This thesis investigates how climate change is affecting air quality, pollution, and health with a focus on Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. Inspired by the latest in climate and science communications, "Climate Change Is in the Air" explores how shifting global weather patterns affect respiratory health. Specifically, the project analyzes ground-level ozone, wildfire emissions, and aeroallergens through two interdisciplinary methods: (1) unpacking the science behind both the atmospheric and natural processes that affect air quality, and how air pollutants enter and affect our bodies and (2) offering solutions on what the world is currently doing, what it should be doing going forward, and what the everyday individual can be doing to help address these issues. Finally, the paper also includes a comprehensive explanation of the motivation behind the project and the science communications theories that helped shape its development.

Table of Contents

Ground-Level Ozone 1
Science: Game of Thr(Ozone): A Song of Respiratory Illness and Climate Change 1
An Inside Job 3
Climate Change's Atmospheric Cocktail 5
Location, Location, Location 9
Solutions: On Ozone's Case: Confronting Ozone in Atlanta 13
A Moving Regulatory Target 14
Demission and Drive 18
Hold Your Breath 22
Wildfire Emissions 26
Science: In Climate Change's Line of Fire: Too Hot to Handle? 26
What's in a Wildfire? 28
Devil in the Details 31
Why Climate Change and Wildfire are BFFLS 37
The Smoky Southeast 40
Solutions: Fighting Fire: Past, Present, Future 43
Burn, Baby, Burn 43
Mastering Firebending 49
Like Smokey Said 53
Aeroallergens 57
Science: Unpacking the Overreaction: Why Climate Change is Nothing to Sneeze at 57
The Anatomy of an Allergy 58
Climate Change and Allergies: Harder, Stronger, Faster, not Better 61
The City in a Forest 67
Solutions: Attacking Allergies: Our Own Worst Enemy 72
Myths and Madness 72
Scientific Sidekicks 77
Allergies Blow 81
The Story Behind the Stories 84
About the Author 84
A Little Background 84
How, Indeed? 87
My Project 90
Technically 92
Spread the Word 96
References 97

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