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Breezometer visualization of 24 hours of air pollution in Brooklyn. Credit: Breezometer

An Israeli startup is providing near block-by-block analysis and forecasts of air quality data.

Why it matters: The more we learn about air pollution, the worse it appears for us — even at what seem like low levels. Being able to visualize the dynamic state of air quality at a granular level can help people protect their health, and even decide where to live.

How it works: Breezometer taps air quality sensors to create a microlocal forecast that changes every 15 ft. to 16 ft., in real time, says Ran Korber, the company's founder and CEO.

  • Users can see air pollution levels not just in their region or city, but along their block.

Details: Machine-learning algorithms can forecast air quality for dozens of pollutants with what Korber says is 90% confidence six hours into the future, though that accuracy declines over longer periods.

By the numbers: The global air quality monitoring market is valued at nearly $5 billion according to one estimate and is projected to grow by more than 5% a year.

  • COVID-19 severity has been connected to air pollution, and Korber says he has noticed an uptick in users looking to Breezometer to tell them "where they should live during lockdown."

The bottom line: As sensors of all kinds become more sensitive, less expensive and more ubiquitous — and as algorithms that can make sense of those readings improve — expect more products like this one.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 15, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Study finds viable pathways to "net-zero" U.S. emissions by 2050

The gas-powered Valley Generating Station in the San Fernando Valley on March 10, 2017. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A major Princeton University-led analysis concludes there's a range of economically beneficial and technologically feasible options for reaching "net-zero" U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 — but big investments and supportive policies would need to begin now.

The big picture: President-elect Joe Biden has embedded that 2050 target in his plan, and a number of states and major corporations share that goal or similar ones. More broadly, net-zero emissions by midcentury is considered a global goal for avoiding some of the most damaging effects of climate change.

7 hours ago - World

Over 170 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem

An injured man is carried away as Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem. Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

At least 178 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police in Jerusalem, Reuters reported late Friday.

The big picture: The clashes come amid growing anger over the threatened eviction of Palestinians from their homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. Tensions have also escalated in the occupied West Bank in recent weeks.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low — Majority back vaccine proof requirements for travel, schools and work — The race to avoid a possible "monster" COVID variant.
  2. Politics: Oklahoma secures $2.6 million refund for hydroxychloroquine purchase — Why Biden's latest vaccine goal is his hardest yet.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccine — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations — Americans' return to the skies could benefit smaller airlines.
  5. World: WHO authorizes China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use — Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.