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            新地圖給環境污染引發的健康問題提供的全景圖

            來源:環保新聞網|上海市環境保護產業協會(滬環協)官方網 作者:環保新聞網|上海市環境保護產業協會(滬環協)官方網 發布時間:2012-05-02 查看次數:27232

            In many developing countries, the absence of surface-based air pollution sensors makes it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to get even a rough estimate of the abundance of a subcategory of airborne particles that epidemiologists suspect contributes to millions of premature deaths each year. The problematic particles, called fine particulate matter (PM2.5), are 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, about a tenth the fraction of human hair. These small particles can get past the body’s normal defenses and penetrate deep into the lungs.

            在很多發展中國家,由于地面地面空氣質量檢測器的缺乏和一些不太現實的原因,使得去檢測,哪怕是很粗糙的評估大量的亞種的懸浮顆粒物都變得很困難,這些懸浮顆粒物被懷疑每年促成了大量的premature deaths。這些有爭議的懸浮顆粒被稱為細微的特殊物質(PM2.5,下文簡化為PM),這種物質直徑在2.5微米或者更小,大小差不多是頭發絲的十分之一。這些小的顆粒物可以通過人體的正常防線,滲透到人的肺里。

            To fill in these gaps in surface-based PM2.5 measurements, experts look toward satellites to provide a global perspective. Yet, satellite instruments have generally struggled to achieve accurate measurements of the particles in near-surface air. The problem: Most satellite instruments can’t distinguish particles close to the ground from those high in the atmosphere. In addition, clouds tend to obscure the view. And bright land surfaces, such as snow, desert sand, and those found in certain urban areas can mar measurements.

            為了測量地面上PM的分布情況,科學家希望通過衛星來提供一個地球的全景圖。雖然,衛星設備不斷的嘗試著去逐漸接近地表空氣中的顆粒物的精確值,但問題是大多數的衛星不能區分這些顆粒物是在地面還是在大氣中。另外,云層也阻礙人們的觀察,還有大量的地面強光,譬如積雪,沙漠中的石頭,和某些城市,這些都會給測量帶來誤差。

            However, the view got a bit clearer this summer with the publication of the first long-term global map of PM2.5 in a recent issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. Canadian researchers Aaron van Donkelaar and Randall Martin at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, created the map by blending total-column aerosol amount measurements from two NASA satellite instruments with information about the vertical distribution of aerosols from a computer model.

            然而,由于這個夏天Environmental Health Perspectives雜志中發表的全球首張長期的PM的地圖,使結果變得更加明朗,加拿大學者Aaron van Donkelaar 和 Randall Martin在達爾豪西大學,這張地圖是通過疊加了NASA衛星獲得的總的空氣懸浮顆粒物的信息與由計算機模型獲得的懸浮顆粒物垂直分布數據繪制的。


            Global satellite-derived map of PM2.5 averaged over 2001-2006.

            Their map, which shows the average PM2.5 results between 2001 and 2006, offers the most comprehensive view of the health-sapping particles to date. Though the new blending technique has not necessarily produced more accurate pollution measurements over developed regions that have well-established surface-based monitoring networks, it has provided the first PM2.5 satellite estimates in a number of developing countries that have had no estimates of air pollution levels until now.

            這張顯示了2001-2006年平均PM的地圖,提供了到目前為止關于影響身體健康的顆粒物的最綜合的結果。盡管新的混合技術還不可能提供更加精確的測量方法,尤其相對于那些已經很好的建立了地表檢測網絡的發達地區。這張地圖首次提供了衛星測量的大多數發展中國家的PM情況,這些地方到目前為止還未開展空氣污染的評估。

            The map shows very high levels of PM2.5 in a broad swath stretching from the Saharan Desert in Northern Africa to Eastern Asia. When compared with maps of population density, it suggests more than 80 percent of the world’s population breathe polluted air that exceeds the World Health Organization’s recommended level of 10 micrograms per cubic meter. Levels of PM2.5 are comparatively low in the United States, though noticeable pockets are clearly visible over urban areas in the Midwest and East.

            這張地圖顯示從北非的撒哈拉大沙漠一直綿延到東亞,都有很高的PM水平。當和地圖區域中的人口密度水平進行比較,結果顯示超過80%的世界人口呼吸著被污染的空氣(聯合國衛生組織認為,每立方米氣體超過10微克的廢氣就算被污染)。在美國地區PM的水平比較低,盡管在中東部和西部的城市部分還可以看到零星的顯著的區域。

            “We still have plenty of work to do to refine this map, but it’s a real step forward,” said Martin, one of the atmospheric scientists who created the map.”We hope this data will be useful in areas that don’t have access to robust ground-based measurements.”

            “我們還有大量的工作要做,來完善這張地圖,但這確實是向前的邁出的一步”Martin說(其中的一位繪制地圖的大氣科學家),“我們希望這些數據可以對那些還未檢測地表空氣污染的區域帶去幫助!

            Take a deep breath. Even if the air looks clear, it’s nearly certain you’ve inhaled millions of PM2.5 particles. Though often invisible to humans, such particles are present everywhere in Earth’s atmosphere, and they come from both natural and human sources. Researchers are still working to quantify the precise percentage of natural versus human-generated PM2.5, but it’s clear that both types contribute to the hotspots that show up in the new map.

            讓我們深呼吸一下。盡管這個空氣看起來很干凈,但幾乎肯定你已經吸入了大量的PM物質。盡管他們對于人們不可見,這些物質分布在地球大氣的任何地方,他來不僅來自于自然界還被人們制造。學者們正在精確的定量人為的和自然產生的PM的比例,但很明確這兩種共同為地圖上的熱點做出貢獻,一起呈現在地圖上。

            Wind, for example, lifts large amounts of mineral dust aloft in the Arabian and Saharan deserts. In many heavily urbanized areas, such as eastern China and northern India, power plants and factories that burn coal lack filters and produce a steady stream of sulfate and soot particles. Motor vehicle exhaust also creates significant amounts of nitrates and other particles. Both agricultural burning and diesel engines yield dark sooty particles scientists call black carbon.

            譬如風,在阿拉伯和撒哈拉沙漠掀起了大量的礦物灰塵。在很多高速城市化的地方,譬如中國的東部和印度的背部,電廠和工廠燃燒了大量的未經過濾的煤,制造了大量的硫酸煙霧和粉塵。汽車尾氣也制造了相當多的硝酸鹽氣體和粉塵。同時還有農業上廢物的燃燒和柴油發動機也產生了很多黑灰,被稱為黑炭。

            Human-generated particles often predominate in urban air — what most people actually breathe — and these particles trouble medical experts the most, explained Arden Pope, an epidemiologist at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah and one of the world’s leading experts on the health impacts of air pollution. That’s because the smaller PM2.5 particles evade the body defenses—small hair-like structures in the respiratory tract called cilia and hairs in our noses—that do a reasonably good job of clearing or filtering out the larger particles.

            人們產生的顆粒物經常主導著城市的空氣,這些空氣被大多數人們呼吸著,Arden Pope,一位楊百翰大學的流行病學家,和另一位在研究空氣污染對身體健康影響這一領域的專家解釋說,這些顆粒物也給醫學專家制造了不少的困擾。這是因為PM物質入侵了人們的防御系統,譬如在鼻腔中的鼻毛,他們會適度的清潔或者過濾吸入的氣體,排除顆粒物。

            Small particles can make their way deep into human lungs and some ultrafine particles can even enter the bloodstream. Once there, they can spark a whole range of diseases including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and bronchitis. The American Heart Association estimates that in the United States alone, PM2.5 air pollution spark some 60,000 deaths a year.

            一些更小的顆粒甚至可以深入到熱門的肺部,還有一些特別細微的顆粒甚至可以進入到人們的血液。一旦他們到達了這些地方,它們可以引起大范圍的疾病,譬如哮喘,心血管疾病和支氣管炎。美國的心臟病協會統計,在美國這些小顆粒能造成每年60,000人的死亡。

            Though PM2.5 as a class of particle clearly poses health problems, researchers have had less success assigning blame to specific types of particles. “There are still big debates about which type of particle is the most toxic,” said Pope. “We’re not sure whether it’s the sulfates, or the nitrates, or even fine dust that’s the most problematic.”

            雖然PM作為一類物質顯然會引發健康問題,研究人員還未成功的讓不同的特殊的小顆粒承擔他們的過錯!瓣P于哪種才是最毒的顆粒,現在還存在著很大的爭論!盤ope說,“我們還不確定是硫酸鹽還是硝酸鹽或者其他的微小的灰塵才是問題的關鍵!


            One of the big sticking points: PM2.5 particles frequently mix and create hybrid particles, making it difficult for both satellite and ground-based instruments to parse out the individual effects of the particles.

            其中的一大癥結:PM顆粒經;旌匣蛘弋a生于混合的混進中,使得衛星或者地面監測儀很難解析出不同小顆粒產生的個別影響。

            The new map, and research that builds upon it, will help guide researchers who attempt to address this and a number of other unresolved questions about PM2.5. The most basic: how much of a public health toll does air pollution take around the globe? “We can see clearly that a tremendous number of people are exposed to high levels of particulates,” said Martin. “But, so far, nobody has looked at what that means in terms of mortality and disease. Most of the epidemiology has focused on developed countries in North America and Europe.”

            這幅地圖已經研究人有由此建立的理論會幫助引導那些試圖解決這個和其他各種各樣由PM造成的未解決的問題的研究人員。最基礎的是,全球有多少費用用于治理環境污染?“我們清楚的看到,數量巨大的人們被暴露在漂浮顆粒物很高的環境中,”Martin說,“但是到目前為止,沒有人開始把這些和死亡或者疾病聯系在一起。大多數流行病學開始關注發達國家,譬如北美或者歐洲。

            Now, with this map and dataset in hand, epidemiologists can start to look more closely at how long term exposure to particulate matter in rarely studied parts of the world – such as Asia’s fast-growing cities or areas in North Africa with quantities of dust in the air – affect human health. The new information could even be useful in parts of the United States or Western Europe where surface monitors, still the gold standard for measuring air quality, are sparse.

            現在,利用這張地圖已經手頭上收集數據的一起,流行病學家開始更深入的研究,長時間暴露在顆粒中的對人身體健康的影響這一很少在世界上被研究的領域,譬如在城市高速發展的亞洲或者空氣中有大量灰塵的北非。新的信息是珍貴的,甚至會有利于部分美國或者西歐,這些擁有地面檢測器,并且對于測量空氣污染制定了很好的標準的區域。

            In addition to using satellite data from NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) that flies on NASA’s Terra satellite and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies on both NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites, the researchers used output from a chemical transport model called GEOS-Chem to create the new map.

            另外,利用NASA裝載在Terra衛星上的多角度圖像光譜儀以及Aqua號上的中等圖像解析光譜儀的數據,研究人員可以輸出化學物質傳輸模型(GEOS)來繪制新地圖。

            However, the map does not represent the final word on the global distribution of PM2.5, the researchers who made it emphasize. Although the data blending technique van Donkelaar applied provides a clearer global view of fine particulates, the abundance of PM2.5 could still be off by 25 percent or more in some areas due to remaining uncertainties, explained Ralph Kahn, an expert in remote sensing from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. and one of the coauthors of the paper.

            然而,研究人員強調道,地圖并不能代表全球PM的最終分布。盡管Donkelaar使用混合技術提供了清晰的全景圖,由于一些不確定原因大量的PM物質,25%甚至更多仍有可能沒被統計進來,Ralph Kahn解釋道。

            To improve understanding of airborne particles, NASA scientists have plans to participate in numerous upcoming field campaigns and satellite missions. NASA Goddard, for example, operates a global network of ground-based particle sensors called AERONET that site managers are currently working to enhance and expand. And, later next year, scientists from Goddard’s Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York will begin to analyze the first data from Glory, a satellite that carries an innovative type of instrument—a polarimeter—that will measure particle properties in new ways and complement existing instruments capable of measuring aerosols from space.

            為了更好的理解空氣中的懸浮顆粒物,NASA的科學家已經計劃參加即將到來的活動和衛星計劃。譬如NASA Goddard,操縱一個被叫做AERONET的地面監控網絡,使得工作進一步擴大和加強。同時在今后的幾年,來自Goddard機構的科學家,在紐約會開始首先分析來自Glory衛星的數據。這顆衛星攜帶了更加先進的測量設備。然后科學家通過新的方法和現有的儀器從太空來評估煙霧。

            “We still have some work to do in order to realize the full potential of satellite measurements of air pollution,” said Raymond Hoff, the director of the Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and the author of a comprehensive review article on the topic published recently in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. “But this is an important step forward.”

            “我們仍然有很多工作要做,為了了解衛星測量空氣污染的最大潛能,但是已經是向前邁出的最重要的一步了!盧aymond Hoff說。Raymond Hoff是Goddard Earth Science and Technology Center的指揮。

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