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Meaning of air pollution and the global consequences
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Meaning of air pollution and the global consequences

May 31, 2022
Why is air pollution bad for the environment, and what can we do to reduce gas effects and smog in the cities? Maintaining a greener future.
air pollution

Air pollution is a global problem: all the countries are involved. Nations have different challenges: developed countries are trying to maintain carbon neutrality, while third-world countries struggle to switch to renewable energy. The global economy still depends on fossil fuels, and our ecological footprint is continuously growing. Thus, the level of air pollution is rising.

What is air pollution?

Breathing fresh air means life. Clean air contains 77.9% of nitrogen, 21.1% of oxygen, and 1% of other gases and compounds. Air pollution means that the air has different gases, which can be harmful to all living species. For example, if the air contains carbon dioxide above a certain level, it is considered polluted air.

The causes of air pollution

There are two kinds of air pollution:

  • Natural air pollution: for example volcanic eruptions or wildfires
  • Human-caused air pollution: industrial, agricultural, or transport greenhouse gas emissions

causes of air pollution

The effects of air pollution

Air pollution has only harmful effects. The main greenhouse gases are:

  • Carbon monoxide and dioxide,
  • Nitrogen oxides,
  • Sulfur oxides.

Emissions from transport vehicles pollute the air in the cities and can cause asthma and other health problems. Industrial pollutants can travel even further, damaging wildlife, and slowing down the blooming of flowers. The main disadvantage of air pollution is that we cannot do much to stop it from spreading. The dirty air can travel with the wind and pollute other countries too. We must step up together against this harmful effect.

Air pollution will not just harm the flora and fauna. Gases can cause acid rain that contains sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, ammonia, and other substances, causing acidification. Acid rain can damage forests and agricultural soil.

Eutrophication is also an effect of air pollution. Nitrogen and phosphor will lead to the emerging number of algae, and thus, the decreasing level of oxygen in the water. In the end, the aquatic organisms will slowly die.

What will happen if air pollution continues?

Air pollutants contribute to human-caused global warming. We have raised the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to about 417 parts per million in the last 151 years, and if that continues, our planet will overheat itself: drinkable water sources will dry out, leading to mass migrations, war, and chaos.

What can we do about it?

Today, we cannot store and transport these renewable energies efficiently, and even if developed countries reached zero-level CO2 emissions, developing countries still have a long way to go.

Other than that, human-made carbon sinks (absorbing more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases) cannot do all the work. We need to restore our forests and natural ecosystems to help us fight climate change.

People and companies need to

  • Avoid wasting food and eat less meat,
  • Choose greener transportation modes (walk, bike, public transport),
  • Recycle and reuse,
  • Avoid single-use plastics,
  • Buy power-saving lightbulbs and other items that have a power-saving mode,
  • Educate people to live more sustainably.

Conclusion

  • Air pollution will cause ground-level ozone and reduce life expectancy
  • Dirty air leads to asthma and cardiovascular diseases
  • All countries and companies must reduce their greenhouse gas emissions