12,000 times more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide released at record levels
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. After the gas is released into the atmosphere, it remains there, which makes it difficult for heat to escape and heats the planet in the process.
It is mainly released from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, as well as cement production.
The average monthly concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, as of April 2019, is 413 parts per million (ppm). Before the Industrial Revolution, the concentration was only 280 ppm.
The concentration of CO2 has fluctuated in the last 800,000 years between 180 and 280 ppm, but has been greatly accelerated by pollution caused by humans.
Nitrogen dioxide gas (NO2) comes from the burning of fossil fuels, car exhaust emissions and the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers used in agriculture.
Although there is much less NO2 in the atmosphere than CO2, it is between 200 and 300 times more effective in trapping heat.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) also comes mainly from burning fossil fuels, but it can also be released from car exhaust.
SO2 can react with water, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere and cause acid rain.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an indirect greenhouse gas, since it reacts with hydroxyl radicals, eliminating them. Hydroxyl radicals reduce the shelf life of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
What is particulate material?
Particulate matter refers to small parts of solids or liquid materials in the air.
Some are visible, such as dust, while others cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Materials such as metals, microplastics, earth and chemicals can be particulate.
Particulate matter (or PM) is described in micrometers. The two main ones mentioned in the reports and studies are PM10 (less than 10 micrometers) and PM2.5 (less than 2.5 micrometers).
Air pollution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, cars, cement manufacturing and agriculture.
Scientists measure the rate of particles in the air per cubic meter.
Particulate matter is sent to the air through a series of processes that include the burning of fossil fuels, car driving and steel manufacturing.
Why are particles dangerous?
The particles are dangerous because those less than 10 micrometers in diameter can penetrate deep into the lungs or even pass into the bloodstream. The particles are found in higher concentrations in urban areas, particularly along the main roads.
What kind of health problems can cause pollution?
According to the World Health Organization, one third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease may be related to air pollution.
Some of the effects of air pollution on the body are not understood, but pollution can increase inflammation, which narrows the arteries and causes heart attacks or strokes.
In addition to this, almost one in 10 cases of lung cancer in the United Kingdom are caused by air pollution.
The particles reach the lungs and lodge there, causing inflammation and damage. In addition to this, some particulate chemicals that enter the body can cause cancer.
Deaths from contamination
Around seven million people die prematurely due to air pollution every year. Pollution can cause a number of problems, including asthma attacks, strokes, various types of cancer and cardiovascular problems.
Air pollution can cause problems for people with asthma for several reasons. Contaminants in traffic fumes can irritate the airways, and particles can enter the lungs and throat and cause these areas to swell.
Women exposed to air pollution before becoming pregnant are almost 20 percent more likely to have babies with birth defects, research in January 2018 suggested.
Living within 3.1 miles (5 km) of a highly polluted area a month before conceiving makes women more likely to give birth to babies with defects such as cleft palate or lips, a study from the University of Cincinnati found.
For every 0.01mg / m3 increase in fine air particles, birth defects increase by 19 percent, the investigation adds.
Previous research suggests that this causes birth defects as a result of women suffering inflammation and ‘internal stress’.
What is being done to combat air pollution?
Paris Agreement on Climate Change
The Paris Agreement, which was signed for the first time in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.
He hopes to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 ° C (3.6 ° F) ‘and continue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 ° C (2.7 ° F)’.
Carbon neutral for 2050
The UK government has announced plans to make the country carbon neutral by 2050.
They plan to do this by planting more trees and installing ‘carbon capture’ technology at the source of the contamination.
Some critics are worried that this first option will be used by the government to export its carbon offset to other countries.
International carbon credits allow nations to continue emitting carbon while paying for tree planting elsewhere, balancing their emissions.
There will be no new gasoline or diesel vehicles by 2040
In 2017, the UK government announced that the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars would be banned by 2040.
As of around 2020, city councils may charge additional charges to diesel drivers using the 81 most polluted routes in the United Kingdom if the air quality does not improve.
However, climate change committee parliamentarians have urged the government to advance the ban until 2030, since by then they will have an equivalent range and price.
The Paris Agreement, which was signed for the first time in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change. In the picture: air pollution in Paris in 2019.
Norwegian electric car subsidies
The rapid electrification of the Norwegian car fleet is mainly attributed to generous state subsidies. Electric cars are almost totally exempt from the heavy taxes imposed on gasoline and diesel cars, which makes them competitively priced.
A VW Golf with a standard combustion engine costs almost 334,000 crowns (34,500 euros, $ 38,600), while its electric cousin the e-Golf costs 326,000 crowns thanks to a lower fiscal ratio.
Criticisms of inaction to climate change
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said that there is a “shocking” lack of government preparation for the risks of climate change for the country.
The committee evaluated 33 areas where the risks of climate change were to be addressed, from flood resistance to property to impacts on agricultural land and supply chains, and found no real progress in any of them.
The United Kingdom is not prepared for 2 ° C warming, the level at which countries have pledged to curb temperature increases, let alone an increase of 4 ° C, which is possible if greenhouse gases are not reduce worldwide, said the committee.
He added that cities need more green spaces to stop the urban effect of ‘heat island’ and avoid flooding by absorbing heavy rains.