Air Pollution And Climate Change

Climate change and air pollution are closely coupled to one another. Pollutants that are released into the air and atmosphere cause local and global air pollution, and just as these toxins can have negative effects on the human body, they can also detrimentally affect our ecosystems and planet. With the hazardous environmental problems that the world is facing today, it’s important to know the effects that we as a society have on climate change and pollution, and what we can do to stop it.

Looking at the issue through an individualistic standpoint, many argue “I’m just one person, how can I make such an impact on the environment?” Regardless of how small the impact may be, take the output of toxins and waste put into the atmosphere and multiply that by millions, and add the same, if not more each day. It adds up. In our daily life, we as humans contribute to air pollution both locally and regionally. There are many different ways to account for air pollution:

  • Wood Burning – Burning wood gives off different types of emissions that pollute the air. Some of them to account are: carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, acrloein, nitrogen oxides, and PAHs.
  • Burning toxic substances (tires, plastic, garbage) – Burning these substances emits particulate matter, dioxins and furans along with other air pollutants.
  • Fossil Fuel – Perhaps the most dangerous and most predominantly burned substances. Fossil fuel accounts for motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, trains, barbecues, and oil/gas furnaces. When you burn fossil fuels, the emissions are repulsive and vast. Carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, particular matter and heavy metals are all emitted into the air, causing deep air pollution and relative climate change.
  • Daily use of pain, solvents, hair spray, ink, and cleaning agents – VOCs and formaldehyde are emitted when you use these seemingly harmless items.
  • Air-conditioning and refrigerators – Chlorofluorocarbons and ozone depleting substances are emitted into the air when you use these products.

Air pollutants such as ozone and particle pollutants definitely contribute to climate change. These pollutants stay in the atmosphere for days or weeks, weakening and dirtying the ozone. One way to assist in being environmentally conscious is to reduce the impacts and emissions that we contribute in. We have many different options which we can easily access and choose. Whether it’s opting to walk to the corner store or to the local library, ride a bike with your family, car-pooling with co-workers or friends, using energy-safe alternatives to gas burners and being more efficient with appliances, there are many different ways we can contribute to make the world a cleaner place, regardless of how small the impact.