Variable: Air

The air we breathe is, of course, critical to life. Thus, clean air is an important biophysical resource, and one that is increasingly recognized in the management of human-dominated ecosystems. Because there are local, regional, national, and even international differences in air quality, and because air pollution is mobile, the scale at which this resource is examined and measured is critical. Often air pollution is produced in one region and consumed in another.

Air pollution levels can be measured directly, by counting the relative levels of different contaminants. Indirect measures of air pollution are also available, and include ozone warnings per year, and reported incidence of respiratory illnesses.

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