Ozone precursors have regionally variable effect on radiative forcing



When released near the surface, carbon monoxide, assorted nitrogen oxides (NOx ), and nonmethane hydrocarbons (NMHC) contribute to the production of ozone, a key component of photochemical smog, which is known to have serious deleterious effects on human health. However, when ozone gets lifted into the troposphere, it is a greenhouse gas. That these ozone precursors have such a dual-pronged effect—affecting both human health and the global radiation budget—suggests that mitigating their emissions could be a potential method to both improve air quality and dampen the rate of anthropogenic climate change.