Program on Inner Asia
Institute of Asian Research
University of British Columbia
Friday, February 17, 15:30-17h
CK Choi Bldg for the Institute of Asian Research
1855 West Mall
Dr. Christa Hasenkopf
University of Colorado
“Clearing the air: The story of the pollution crisis in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia”
For the first time in human history, we now live in a world where over half of the population resides in urban areas. The urbanization rate is highest in developing nations, in which over three-quarters of humanity lives. Over the last 30 years, Asia has seen its population double and, accordingly, its cheap energy needs skyrocket and air quality plummet. Ulaanbaatar, the engine of Mongolia’s rapidly developing economy, is a prime example of an Asian city that is experiencing rapid population and economic growth but is suffering negative environmental consequences. Due to this growth as well as its geography and climate, Ulaanbaatar has some of the world’s most polluted air in terms of particulate matter (PM) levels. This talk will describe the current air pollution crisis and its impacts in Ulaanbaatar, how it got that way, and current and future mitigation methods.
Christa Hasenkopf received her PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Colorado. She is on a two-year postdoctoral study of particulate matter emissions in Ulaanbaatar, as well as performing atmospheric science outreach activities at universities and local secondary schools. Her research is done in collaboration with the National University of Mongolia and the University of Colorado and is funded by a National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship and a U.S. Fulbright grant.