Agricultural Impacts on Air Pollution

Ecology and Environment

A new study by MSI PIs Jason Hill (professor, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering) and Stephen Polasky (professor, Applied Economics) and their colleagues describes research showing how agricultural activities contribute to air pollution in the form of fine particulate matter. The study showed that animal production is responsible for 80% of this pollution and discusses how this could be reduced. A Research Brief about this paper can be found on the U of M News site: Animal Production Responsible for Vast Majority of Air Quality-Related Health Impacts From U.S. Food. The paper can be found on the website of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA: Air Quality-Related Health Damages of Food.

Professor Hill uses MSI to develop and test a reduced-complexity air quality impact model, InMAP, which was featured on the MSI website in 2017: A New Computer Model for Air Pollution. Paper co-authors Srinidhi Balasubramanian and Sumil Thakrar use MSI as part of Professor Hill’s group. Professor Polasky uses MSI to support research by the Natural Capital Project, which maps and values ecosystem services (the contributions of nature to human well-being) and works to integrate these values into public and private decision-making.