Compounding Factors: Air Pollution and Climate Variability in Mexico City

  • María Eugenia IbarraránEmail author
  • Iván Islas
  • José Abraham Ortínez
Part of the Springer Climate book series (SPCL)


In early 2016, Mexico City suffered from repeated severe episodes of high ozone concentrations. Tropospheric ozone is a secondary compound produced by precursors such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds. However, other conditions such as cloud coverage, solar radiation, humidity, wind speed, and temperature play a significant role on the rate at which ground-level ozone forms. During periods of low precipitation, that is, March through May 2016, Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) witnessed high concentrations of tropospheric ozone. We look at the correlation between the occurrence of El Niño events, meteorological conditions, and ground concentration of ozone. We also describe other features of MCMA that can contribute to explain this deterioration of air quality as well as discuss health and economic costs this may entail. We finally address some public policies that may help reduce low air quality in this and other metropolitan areas.


Mexico City Air pollution Climate variability Ozone peaks Atmospheric stability Supreme Court rulings 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Eugenia Ibarrarán
    • 1
    Email author
  • Iván Islas
    • 2
  • José Abraham Ortínez
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidad Iberoamericana PueblaPueblaMexico
  2. 2.Mexico Low Emissions Development ProgramMexico CityMexico
  3. 3.Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático and Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, UNAMMéxico CityMéxico

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