[permaculture] Farmers' foe: Smog damage to crops costs billions - Yahoo! News
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lfl at intrex.net
Wed Jul 12 14:16:00 EDT 2006
Farmers' foe: Smog damage to crops costs billions
by Anne Chaon Tue Jul 11, 5:04 PM ET
ISPRA, Italy (AFP) - The internal combustion engine contributes massively to global warming, kills around 1.2 million
people a year in road accidents and, scientists now warn, is costing billions of dollars in crop damage each year.
The villain is a molecule of oxygen called ozone.
Way up in the stratosphere, the wafer-thin ozone layer exists naturally as a protector of life, filtering out
ultra-violet sunlight that would otherwise slice and corrupt human DNA.
At ground level, though, ozone can be dangerous. Formed by a reaction between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic
compounds emitted by road traffic, ozone smog can be a life-shortening problem for people with bad respiratory problems.
Another fast-emerging picture is that this pollution is also inflicting a rising bill in damage to food plants,
especially in regions where hot, sunny, windless conditions favour ozone formation.
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