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Tuesday Keynote Address: The Importance of Coordinated Observations of African Megacity Air Pollution

V. Morris

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287

Air pollution has become a global health threat that according to some reports affects the livelihood of 82 percent of the global population.  African countries are projected to have the fastest urban growth rate in the world: by 2050, Africa's cities will be home to an additional 950 million people, and the continent's population is anticipated to be primarily urban by 2035. The acute levels of indoor and outdoor air pollution in Africa have already become the most significant environmental contributor to premature death, outpacing both malaria and HIV.  Despite the growing attention to the study of emerging African megacity air quality from various international research groups, organizations, and funding agencies, African urban areas remain one of the least studied regions in the world.  I will why a specific focus on observations in these regions is necessary and some of the challenges and opportunities associated with the endeavor.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Dr. Morris is the Director of the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and a Foundation Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences.  He is also a Senior Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley School of Sustainability, Affiliate Faculty in the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and an Associate Scientist in the Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST).