Ozone Pollution as an
Effect of Climate Change

Ground-level ozone is formed primarily from reactions between two major classes of air pollutants: volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Sunlight and heat accelerate these reactions, so high concentrations of ozone usually occur during summer months.

Impacts of Ground Level Ozone

Ground-level ozone can have adverse health effects such as premature death, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, and aggravated asthma. In Colorado, the Denver Metro Area as well as some parts of Boulder and Weld counties have significantly higher ozone concentrations due to their proximity to highways, traffic, and other sources of pollution such as refineries and factories. Climate change can exacerbate ozone pollution because rising temperatures facilitate formation of ozone molecules.

Effects of Pollution on Climate

To further understand the impact ground level Ozone is projected to have on our state, our ozone emissions and risk maps show, at the census tract level, the impact pollution is projected to have on Colorado by mid-century, and communities that face the greatest threats from ozone pollution if we continue with the status quo.

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