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Real-Time Air Pollution Overview

Air pollution is one of the defining environmental challenges of our time.

Berkeley Earth’s air pollution map allows you to search historic air quality data in addition to providing real-time air pollution readings from around the globe. Data is updated hourly.

More of Berkeley Earth’s research on the health impacts of air pollution is available below.

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Published in 2015, Berkeley Earth’s foundational research on air pollution was able to conclude that 1.6 million people were dying from air pollution in China every year, amounting to 17% of the country’s annual deaths.

Identifying the primary sources of air pollution including PM2.5, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Dioxide, Sulfur Dioxide, and Ozone, the paper recommends a number of solutions to help improve the country’s air quality and mitigate the health impacts of these pollutants.

Berkeley Earth’s 2016 report considered the health impacts of China’s use of coal-based electricity, estimating that anywhere between 84,000 and 434,000 annual deaths can be attributed to the use of coal over other sources of electricity generation. Moving away from coal and towards other sources such as nuclear, natural gas and renewables would not only lower China’s greenhouse gas emissions, but also save lives.

Air pollution kills more people worldwide every year than does AIDS, malaria, diabetes, or tuberculosis.

In a 2015 report, Berkeley Earth contextualized the health impacts of air pollution by correlating air quality with the number of cigarettes smoked daily. An average day in the EU, for example, amounts to smoking 1.6 cigarettes per day; a bad day in Beijing will amount to 25 daily cigarettes, over a pack per day.

Discover your own local cigarette equivalence via the Sh**t I Smoke App designed by Amaury Martiny and Marcello Coelho, inspired by this report.

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