The World's Cleanest Air
Clean-Air Credentials: According to Russell Schnell, Hawaii can receive significant pollution from China but still it manages to record the cleanest air on earth. How?By rising above it, literally. Pollution particles stop climbing when they meet the inversion layer, an atmospheric boundary of warmer air. At 11,145 feet, the Mauna Loa observatory is above the clouds and, therefore, virtually free of pollution.
Take a Breather: To sample the subtle difference, start at sea level, paddling a traditional outrigger canoe (the “Beachboy” program at the Fairmont Orchid has trained instructors). Next, hop in a car (a hybrid, of course) and go where the air is truly clear: the Mauna Loa scenic trail—one of the few locations on earth where it’s possible to drive above the inversion layer—and hike the six miles to the summit.
From the article The World’s Cleanest Air