The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced in a press release that the agency is awarding nearly $17 million in Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grants to universities across the country to study the consequences of climate change on the air we breathe and the water we drink.
“EPA is engaging the academic research community, through these grants, to enable solutions that will both adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change," said Dr. Paul T. Anastas, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development.
The agency solicited grants in four areas:
Climate Change and Allergies
Allergies are responsible for a substantial proportion of healthcare costs in the United States, and chronic allergies have been increasing since 1970. Following on to research showing links between climate and the production and distribution of pollen and mold, the new research being funded will provide information on how climate change influences the production, distribution, dispersal, and potency of allergens produced by weeds, grasses, and trees, and the associated impacts on human health.
Climate Change and Air Quality
These grants will help people understand how weather variability, land use decisions, and industrial technology could impact ozone and fine particle pollution over the next 40 years. The research will help guide the formation of new air quality management systems that effectively account for climate change and mitigation strategies for air quality.
Climate Change and Water Resources
Climate change affects temperature, precipitation, surface radiation, humidity, winds, and sea level. The STAR-funded research will help assess the sensitivity of aquatic systems to possible climatic changes over the next several decades. Understanding these changes will be useful for developing regional adaptive strategies to reduce the risk of harmful impacts to water quality and aquatic ecosystems.
Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration
These grants will investigate safe and effective ways to store and sequester carbon. This research will help determine if injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) deep into the ground threatens the environment and underground water resources.
EPA brings leading-edge science to assess the consequences of climate change on human health, ecosystems, and social well being. One of the agency’s goals is to develop information and tools to make assessments on the overall impact of climate change.
For more information about the grants and the grant awardees, visit http://www.epa.gov/ncer/climate.