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第一段

1 .This is Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.

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2 .You may have noticed your summertime electricity bills, when you're cranking the A¨CC, are more pricey than your wintertime payments.

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3 .That's because air-conditioning is an electricity hog.

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4 .And when a whole city or region turns down the thermostat, utilities have to meet that increased demand somehow.

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5 ."This is often when we turn on the oldest plants or the dirtier power plants."

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6 .Tracey Holloway, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

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7 ."Some of these older plants that only run on fuel oil or run on coal only run on the hottest days."

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8 .Using data from the EPA, Holloway and her team studied how air pollutants respond when the temperature goes up.

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9 .They found that across the eastern U.S., for every degree Celsius temperature rise, power plants belched out 140,000 metric tons of additional carbon dioxide.

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10 .And emissions of the pollutants sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides rose three and a half percent per extra degree of heat, averaged across the region.

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11 .That's especially bad, because hot summer days are the worst days to pump out more pollution.

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12 ."These hot days, when we turn on the air conditioning across the U.S.or the state also happen to be the most chemically reactive days.

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13 .So every unit of air pollution going into the air is that much more likely to form ozone."

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14 .And ozone itself is a potent air pollutant.

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15 .The study is in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

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16 .Holloway says the answer to this summertime pollution peak may be an energy source that thrives on hot, sunny days.

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17 ."If we could be getting solar electricity during this peak time it may offset this hot weather midday peak and be a great solution for avoiding having to turn on those peaking power plants."

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18 .In other words: why not use the sun, to keep cool.

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19 .Thanks for listening, for Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.

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