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Cuba strengthens monitoring system for tropospheric ozone

Havana, Apr 1 (Prensa Latina) Cuba is currently working on the methodological strengthening of the Monitoring and Early Warning System for tropospheric ozone (O3), a polluting compound harmful to several crops, including tobacco, potatoes, tomatoes, and garlic.

According to Cuban scientists who recently met at the 6th National Meeting on Atmospheric Pollution, when this substance exceeds permissible levels in the atmosphere’s lower layer, it affects the yield and quality of crops and plant foliage, besides favoring the appearance of pests or diseases.

Conducted by the Center for Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry (CECONT) at the Meteorological Institute, Cuba will strengthen this specialized scientific-technical service, whose aim is to warn agricultural producers in the state and private sectors five days in advance of increases in ozone concentrations.

CECONT researcher Arnaldo Collazo said producers could take measures to protect plantations and reduce losses, such as activating irrigation systems and applying fungicides.

“As results of CECONT’s researches, it has now been possible to determine the kind of impact the increase in tropospheric ozone would have on each crop, and the level of impact, expressed in percentages, in the provinces and regions nationwide,” the expert told Granma newspaper.

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