The World Meteorological Organization and the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) project have released a study of how megacities affect the climate and pollute the atmosphere. The report concludes that rapid urbanization will pose serious health risks to city dwellers unless stronger efforts are made to reduce pollution.
As summarized by a recent article in Nature, the report notes that over half of the world’s population already lives in cities, and this figure is expected to rise to 70% by 2050. As a result, the consequences of urban air pollution will become increasingly important. More study is needed on how the geography, meteorology, emissions, atmospheric chemistry, and climate of megacities interact with one another and affect human health.
Reflecting the state of relevant data, the report focuses on providing an initial assessment of what information is available on airpollution in megacities across Africa, Asia, South America, North America, and Europe. It also proposes priorities for continued data gathering and research.