WashingtonPost covers a study that says coal pollution in China will cut 5.5 years off of 5 million people.
What they found was surprising. Concentrations of “total suspended particulates” were about 55 percent higher in the north, thanks to the heavy coal burning. And life expectancy for those living in the north was also about 5.5 years shorter — an effect due entirely to differences in cardio-respiratory problems, which is exactly what you’d expect if pollution was the cause. (There’s a long appendix detailing all the different controls they applied.)
The study concluded that nearly 500 million people living north of the Huai River will lose an estimated 2.5 billion life years because of pollution from widespread coal burning, compared with those south of the river. The study is based on analyses of health and air-quality data from 1981 to 2000.
The study is here.
Wow. 2.5 billion life years vs. coal power. Could you imagine if you were told given where you live you'll die 5.5 years earlier than others in a lower carbon region?