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Cookstoves contribute to outdoor Air Pollution and have a significant impact on Climate change: Scientists

An estimated 40 percent of the global population use cookstoves that burn solid fuels such as wood

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FILE - A woman in India is uses a cookstove that produces less smoke for burning wood or any other fuel. VOA

US, Jan 26, 2017: A new study finds that cookstoves, used for cooking and heating inside homes in many developing countries, contribute to outdoor air pollution and have a significant impact on climate change.

An estimated 40 percent of the global population use cookstoves that burn solid fuels such as wood. Most studies of cookstoves focus on the health impacts in and around homes where they are used. Those reports show that up to a half-million people are thought to die every year as a result of inhaling fine particulate matter and soot emitted by cookstoves into outdoor air.

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Now, a new study looks at the air quality and climate impacts of cookstoves on a global scale.

Scientists at the University of Colorado in Boulder and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, used satellites owned by the U.S. space agency NASA, along with supercomputers that modeled cookstove pollution country by country.

Results showed that cookstoves used in Baltic countries like Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan had an enormous impact on climate change, according to Forrest Lacey, co-author of the study, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“In general, it’s more of the northern latitude countries,” Lacey said. “So that’s why we’re seeing like the central Asian countries and Ukraine or Romania, because they actually get a lot of transport on the snow of black carbon, which has an amplified warming impact.”

Impact on Arctic

Some of these carbon deposits can blow as far north as the Arctic, which is experiencing the greatest climate impact caused by greenhouse gases.

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The use of cookstoves in populous countries like India and China also has a huge impact on climate change because of the sheer numbers of stoves that are used. But reducing the use of cookstoves in the Baltics, said the authors, would have the greatest benefit in terms of improving climate and air quality.

NGOs hope to distribute millions of clean stoves around the world this year, according to Lacey, making a sizeable dent in the estimated 100 million cookstoves that are used globally.

Not only would a large-scale reduction in solid fuel cookstoves improve local air quality, said the authors, it would benefit the global climate, too. (VOA)

Next Story

Due to Global Warming Mount Everest Melting Glaciers Throw Up Climbers’ Bodies

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning

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The association's Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year. Pixabay

With the melting of glaciers and snow due to high temperatures, Mount Everest expedition operators are finding more and more bodies of climbers on and around the world’s highest peak.

More than 200 mountaineers have died on the peak since 1922, when the first climbers’ deaths on the Everest were recorded. Most bodies have remained buried under glaciers or snow, CNN has reported.

“Due to climate change and global warming, snow and glaciers are melting fast, and bodies are being exposed and discovered by climbers,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

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“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said. Pixabay

“Since 2008, my company has brought down seven bodies, some dating back to a British expedition in the 1970s,” he said.

According to studies, glaciers in the Everest region are melting and thinning.

“It’s a serious issue. We are concerned about this as it’s getting worse,” said Sobit Kunwar, an official of the Nepal National Mountain Guides Association. “We are trying to spread information to have a coordinated way to deal with it,” he said.

The association’s Treasurer, Tenzeeng Sherpa, said climate change was affecting Nepal with glaciers, in parts, melting by a meter every year.

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“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said. Pixabay

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“We bring down most bodies. But for those that could not be brought down we pay ours respects by saying prayers and covering them with rocks or snow,” Sherpa said.

He lamented poor response of authorities in dealing with bodies found on the mountain. “We have not seen the government taking any responsibility,” he said.

Recovering and removing bodies from higher camps can be both dangerous and expensive. (IANS)