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Climate Change, Air Quality and Homo Sapiens: The Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet for Future Generations Alun Mcintyre
Climate Change, Air Quality and Homo Sapiens:
The Care and Maintenance of a Small Planet for
Alun McIntyre – IAQM Early Careers Event
18th January 2018
• Climate change reflections, evidence & metrics
• Planning for climate change
• Effects upon ambient air quality
• The international dimension
• Decarbonisation of the transport sector
• Key business development areas
• Key future stewardship
“The last time there was this much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the
Earth's atmosphere, modern humans didn't exist. Megatoothed
sharks (Megalodon - 2.6-23 million years ago) prowled the oceans,
the world's seas were up to 100 feet higher than they are today, and
the global average surface temperature was up to 11°F warmer than
it is now.”
Michael Mann, climate scientist, Pennsylvania State University (2013)
• The greatest effect will be on the atmospheric concentration of water
vapour, which will lead to decreases in ozone in the background
troposphere but increases in more polluted regions where there are higher
nitrogen oxides concentrations.
• Hot summers like 2003, when there was a substantial photochemical smog
episode in Europe, including SE England, are likely to become ‘typical’ by
the 2040s, leading to a higher frequency of summer pollution episodes.
• Episodes of winter smog, by contrast, are likely to be less prevalent
because of a likely decrease in the frequency of winter stagnation events,
where low wind speeds and atmospheric stability hinder the dispersal of
AQEG Conclusions (2007 Report)
• Frieda River PNG gold & copper mine
• The truth about AQ-influenced deaths brought forward, life years lost
Key AQ profile-raising areas
• Serious, sustained cuts in carbon emissions
• Peak Oil and FF Phase-out
• Dealing practically with climate change:
– Building resilient developments & cities
• Decarbonising transport, domestic and commercial sectors
• Meeting EU Limit Values
Key Future Stewardships
• Your clients are never Wrong, you just need to bring all your skills to bear to
move them firmly into the Right space.
• Your clients will have an idea of what they Want, it is your job to show them what
they, in fact, Need.
• Ask more questions. You seek knowledge, and all around are those willing to
• You’re not as bad at air quality modelling as you imagine.
• Actually, you probably are…..
• Don’t worry about the future; or do worry, but know this - that worrying is as
effective as trying to understand Government air quality policies.
• Do one thing everyday that scares you: I am available for tutorials, that usually
does the trick.
• Be nice to your peers; they are the best link to your past and the people you will
be working with during your career.
• Learn and become knowledgeable about subjects other than air quality.
• That way, you won’t end up talking to the wall at parties…