Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Variable congestion charges may yield more stable air quality and improved health

14.12.2012
Higher congestion charges in the morning and in the spring would even out the negative health effects caused by air pollution from cars in large cities.

This is concluded in a study by researchers from the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Faculty of Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

CO2 emissions from cars are contributing to the global warming due to the so-called greenhouse effect. The purpose of congestion charges in large cities is to reduce both congestion and CO2 emissions from cars.

However, researchers at the University of Gothenburg show that if the congestion charges are set right, they will also contribute to a more consistent air quality by evening out the emissions of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and carbon monoxide, implying positive health effects.

The researchers base their conclusion on observations of the levels of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter and carbon monoxide in Stockholm, London and Santiago. These cities are very different in many ways, but still show the same pattern.

‘Our analysis indicates that despite traffic flows being larger in the afternoon, NOx and NO2 pollution in the morning peak is larger than in the peak in the afternoon,’ says environmental economist Jessica Coria.

Similar patterns are found in the cities of Bogota, Los Angeles and Beijing, which have also been studied by the researchers.

The purpose of the study is to show at what times the congestion charges should be the highest in order to harmonise with nature’s ability to cleanse itself and dilute the emissions from cars. If the congestion charges are allowed to vary with the capacity of nature to handle pollution, then they may reduce not only global warming but also the dangerous health effects of urban air pollutants.

‘If people would choose to drive at different times than today, the levels of pollution would be evened out, which in turn would have positive health effects,’ says Jessica Coria.

The study is still in progress and the researchers expect to be able to present precise figures regarding charges, times of day and seasonal recommendations in 2013.

Contact: Jessica Coria, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg,
Jessica.Coria@economics.gu.se
Phone: +46 31 786 4867

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>