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Environmental Lecture Series: Implications for Air Quality

As part of Lakeside’s Environmental Lecture Series, Dr. G. Jay Lennartson will present two lectures about “Our Warming Planet: Implications for Air Quality.” Join Lennartson at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 and 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 in Orchestra Hall.

Tuesday’s 1:30 p.m. session focuses on the connection between warming, an increased urban heat island effect and associated increases in primary and secondary pollutants. We will also discuss the implications for economic and human health.

Wednesday’s 3:30 p.m. session examines connections between climate change and more frequent and severe wildfires, with a discussion of implications for human and economic health, and other consequences.

The consequences of global warming are well known and already being experienced across the planet. Rising seas, melting ice caps, loss of biodiversity, more severe and frequent storms…. the list is extensive and well documented, and frequently has a disproportionate effect on the world’s most vulnerable populations, i.e., the elderly, poor and people of color.

Another less discussed but just as impactful consequence of our warming planet is its effect on air quality. One of the more obvious examples, because of its conspicuousness, was last summer’s potent wildfire season in Canada, which brought smoke to a large swath of the continental U.S. The smoke severely hampered visibility, exacerbated breathing problems—particularly for at-risk populations—and may have even harmed crops in the Midwest.

Other connections between the warming planet and air quality include, increasing levels of outdoor and indoor air pollution, airborne allergens, an urban heat island effect and more frequent and severe heat waves — to name a few. Of course, all these effects are linked with human and economic health.

Lennartson was born in New England, but also lived in New Hampshire, Ohio and Connecticut while growing up, thus having the opportunity to experience new people, places and cultures.

He completed his bachelor’s in earth science from Southern Connecticut State University in 1980, his master’s in atmospheric science in 1988 and his Ph.D. in climatology in 1997.

While pursuing his degrees, he worked for a demolition company, an environmental consulting firm and was a TV broadcast meteorologist in Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Concord, New Hampshire.

His passions include sharing his love of earth science, in particular weather and climate, traveling around the globe with his partner, Max, flying his Mooney to new destinations, running triathlons and marathons, backpacking and getting into just enough trouble to keep life interesting.

He’s currently a principal lecturer in the Department of Geography, Environmental & Sustainability at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he’s been teaching and conducting research for the last 27 years.


Jul 02, 2024


1:30 pm

Next Occurrence




Orchestra Hall
Orchestra Hall
122 West 2nd Street, Lakeside, Lakeside Marblehead, OH, USA


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