Media on Friday heralded the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed plan, known as Tier 3 standards, to reduce smog-forming emissions from vehicles, which Grumpy Editor finds duplicates some of the results from installation of “three way” catalytic converters used in vehicle emission control systems since 1981, an improvement from earlier devices that debuted in the 1975 model year.
The EPA says the proposed Tier 3 standards, due to take effect in 2017 and boosting the price of gasoline and vehicle price tags, would reduce sulfur in gasoline by more than 60 percent and cut nitrogen oxides by 80 percent.
With the latter, no mention is made --- or injected by auto or environmental writers --- that three-way catalytic converters and other technological advances have led to motor vehicle nitrous oxide emissions falling to 8.2 percent by 2008, from a high of 17.77 percent in 1998.
Regarding sulfur, a program phased in by the EPA from 2004 to 2007 --- and still in effect --- reduces the sulfur content in gasoline by up to 90 percent from “uncontrolled levels.”
The Obama administration’s latest anti-pollution proposal, notes The Associated Press, puts in place “the first standards to reduce the pollution from cars and trucks blamed for global warming.”
“Ocean heat” triggers cold Europe
Speaking of global warming, Easter was accompanied by unusual freezing weather for Europe with Great Britain recording the coldest March in 51 years and Berliners viewing another snowfall.
What’s behind the unusual meteorological conditions?
An AP story Friday points to melting Arctic sea ice as the culprit, explaining:
“The theory is the loss of sea ice means more heat is released from the open ocean, warming the layer of polar air over the water. That reduces the temperature and air pressure differentials with more southern latitudes, increasing the likelihood of a negative state in the atmospheric circulation.
“Experts stress that winter weather is affected by many other factors, but several studies have shown the Arctic melt loads the dice in favor of colder and snowier winters in Europe.”
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