Breathing in Lubbock is always a fun chore.

Believe it or not, the air quality in Lubbock, as of 9.28.23, is considered "good". There's just one problem, there's a lot of stuff in it.

NASA recently launched its TEMPO instrument (Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution) that surveys the air for nitrous oxide pollution. This is pollution from fossil fuels, fires, and whatnot. Basically, TEMPO monitors the stuff that's heating up the earth and killing the planet. As you might expect, the heavily populated areas look really bad. Of the areas it does show, Houston seems to be the worst spot in Texas.

NASA only provided partial results so Lubbock appears to be skipped in that information for now. While we can't find out our score in terms of nitrous oxide pollution, we do have another problem and that would be "particulate matter". Even though we're not experiencing a dust storm at this time, and even though we have "good" air quality, our P.M. rating is 2.4 times the recommended amount from the World Health Organization (and you thought the air was better than average today).

While we can cut back on greenhouse gasses, it seems a bit harder to cut back on the dust, pollens, and other naturally occurring stuff in the Lubbock air. As someone with a family of lifelong asthma sufferers, this is not good news. I have even developed symptoms on particularly dusty days including difficulty breathing, headaches, and what feels like a giant knot in my throat. It seems odd that controlling gasses would be easier than controlling dust, but apparently, that is where we're at right now.


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