Night games in sports stadiums and street lighting can cause spike in daytime ozone air pollution

February 9, 2011

Brightly-lit Cowboys Stadium during Sunday's Super Bowl XLV may symbolize one of the hottest new pieces of scientific intelligence about air pollution: Researchers have discovered — in a classic case of scientific serendipity — that the bright light from sports stadiums and urban street lights may boost daytime levels of ozone, a key air pollutant in many heavily populated areas. That's among the topics included in a broader article about the chemistry of air pollution in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' newsmagazine.

In the article, C&EN Associate Editor Jyllian Kemsley describes a so-called "field campaign" that took place in southern California and Mexico last year. It was a far-ranging effort by land, sea, and air to gain a deeper scientific understanding of all the factors involved in air quality and climate change. One of experiments involved use of detectors to measure the intensity of sunlight from an airplane.

As the plane flew over a brightly lit sports stadium, one of the crew suggested, perhaps only half seriously, turning the device on, even though it was the dead of night. Much to the scientists' surprise, they found there was enough light to drive certain chemical reactions in the atmosphere that would boost daytime levels of , one of the most prevalent and difficult-to-control air pollutants in urban areas. One of the scientists in the experiment notes in the article that cities and states, struggling to meet ever-stricter government limits, may want to consider the unexpected effects of night-time lighting of streets, sports stadiums, and other sources of bright light.

Explore further: Morning-after spike in ozone air pollution from Super Bowl XLV?

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3 / 5 (2) Feb 09, 2011
Look its very simple, there is a fine example of a whole country that practices NO lights or freedom, except for the ruling class, you can even see it on Google earth. I believe they have the finest view of the stars bar none. Anybody who wants that kind of life can pack up and move to North Korea, I'm sure they have the same mind set as these never ending gloom and doom EPA loving environmentalist whack jobs. Take some snacks with you those poor people survive on a bowl of rice a day!!
3 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2011
Yadda Yadda yadda... Shut down all coal power plants in the US and the problem goes away... at least in the US. We will be exporting our coal to China to fire their generating plants for .. well ... way past my lifetime.
not rated yet Feb 16, 2011
Those whack jobs are the reason that you do not see rivers on fire any more Teddy boy....and keep your air free of pollutants that would have reduced your life span. Wait...lower life forms, in periods of stress can convert to spores and survive thousands of years. Nothing to worry about then teddy.

See "Cuyahoga River Fire"

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