Study Confirms indoor cookstoves cause outdoor pollution, add to climate change
About 40 percent of the world’s population use cookstoves that burn solid fuels, such as wood, according to a recent Voice of America article.
Scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, recently used NASA satellite data and NASA’s Intel Xeon-based Pleiades supercomputer to map out the flow of pollution worldwide and how cookstove emissions in one country can cause problems elsewhere, according to a recent University of Colorado Boulder press release.
China and India are major users of residential cookstoves, so reducing their cookstove usage would have the largest impact in improving the climate, according to the study, which was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
But more surprisingly, the researchers found that Baltic countries, such as Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, also had a huge impact on climate change, according to the VOA article.
“In general, it’s more of the northern latitude countries,” study co-author Forrest Lacey told VOA. “So that’s why we’re seeing like the central Asian countries and Ukraine or Romania, because they actually get a lot of transport [of black carbon] on the snow, which has an amplified warming impact.”
An estimated 370,000 to 500,000 people die annually because of their exposure to harmful pollution that results from residential cookstoves, the press release said. An international alliance hopes to reduce those deaths by distributing 100 million cleaner stoves across the globe, per PBS.