Aspen's PM-10 drops as Western dust subsides

By Real Aspen
July 29, 2010

This June’s PM-10 particulate air pollution levels were much lower than they were in either April or May, when several high PM-10 days were caused by blowing dust from Utah and Arizona.

June’s PM-10 levels followed the typical pattern of increasing through the work week (due to traffic) and dropping over the weekends (when traffic is much lower).

PM-10 is believed to cause tens of thousands of deaths a year in the US, including at levels sometimes experienced in Aspen.

June temperatures continued their historical warming trend. Daily high temperatures are getting a degree warmer each decade, and overnight lows are two degrees warmer per decade.

Spring continues to come earlier at a fast rate, about 11 days earlier each decade in Aspen. Globally, this June was the warmest June on record.

“On average nowadays in Aspen, the last time it freezes in the winter is about May 28, compared to about June 18 in 1992,” said Lee Cassin, director of the Environmental Health Department. “This is bringing an earlier end to winter and earlier snowmelt and runoff.”

For more information on air quality in Aspen: www.aspenpitkin.com/Departments/Environmental-Health.

For information on Aspen’s global warming programs: www.aspenpitkin.com/Departments/Canary-Initiative/ .


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