Carried in the Wind: How Future North Atlantic Atmospheric Shifts Will Impact European Health

From the News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton 

From:  Journal – Geophysical Research Letters –  Released  3 September 2013 Wiley Research


Particle matter suspended in the atmosphere, such as soot and other pollutants, can pose health risks and now research into atmospheric shifts reveal how the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) will play a central role in distributing these particles across Europe.


“Inhalation of particle matter (PM) has been associated with diseases such as atherosclerosis, lung cancer, respiratory diseases, birth defects and premature death,” said Dr. Francesco S.R. Pausata from the European Commission Joint Research Centre.


“While it is regulated through European air quality standards, urban area concentration levels have not fallen as PM levels are influenced by meteorological conditions and their inter-annual variability.”


The NAO is a large-scale atmospheric pattern caused by swings in atmospheric pressure at sea level in the North Atlantic between the Arctic and the subtropical Atlantic. It controls the strength and direction of winds and storms across the North Atlantic. The variability of the NAO over the years may influence PM distribution, and blur the link between man-made emissions and PM atmospheric concentrations.


The winter NAO has shown an upward trend in the 1980s and 1990s, and climate models forecast this trend to continue in the coming decades. This is expected to have a significant impact on mortality rates: the forecast higher levels of PM in the Mediterranean region will lead to an increase in premature deaths unless compensated by emission reduction measures; while central, northern and eastern Europe are predicted to have lower levels of PM, with reductions in mortality rates.




About jeanne hambleton

Journalist-wordsmith, former reporter, columnist, film critic, editor, Town Clerk and then fibromite and eventer with 5 conferences done and dusted. Interested in all health and well being issues, passionate about research to find a cure and cause for fibromyalgia. Member LinkedIn. Worked for 4 years with FMA UK as Regional Coordinator for SW and SE,and Chair for FMS SAS the Sussex and Surrey FM umbrella charity and Chair Folly Pogs Fibromyalgia Research UK - finding funding for our "cause for a cure" and President and co ordinator of National FM Conferences. Just finished last national annual Fibromyalgia Conference Weekend. This was another success with speakers from the States . Next year's conference in Chichester Park Hotel, West Sussex, will be April 24/27 2015 and bookings are coming in from those who raved about the event every year. I am very busy but happy to produce articles for publication. News Editor of FMS Global News on line but a bit behind due to conference. A workaholic beyond redemption! The future - who knows? Open to offers with payment. Versatile and looking for a regular paid column - you call the tune and I will play the pipes.
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