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Emissions

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the biggest contributors to global warming. Once the gas is released into the atmosphere, it remains there, making it difficult for heat to escape and, in the process, warming the planet.

It is released primarily from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, as well as from the production of cement.

The average monthly concentration of CO2 in 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 over the past 800,000 years between 180 and 280 ppm, but it has been greatly accelerated by pollution caused by humans.

Nitrogen dioxide

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 200 to 300 times more effective at trapping heat.

Sulfur dioxide

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) also mainly comes from burning fossil fuels, but it can also be released from car exhausts.

SO2 can react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals in the atmosphere, causing acid rain.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an indirect greenhouse gas since it reacts with hydroxyl radicals, eliminating them. Hydroxyl radicals shorten the life of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Particles

What is particulate matter?

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, soil, and chemicals can be particulate.

Particulate matter (or PM) is described in microns. The top two mentioned in reports and studies are PM10 (less than 10 microns) and PM2.5 (less than 2.5 microns).

Air pollution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, automobiles, cement manufacturing, and agriculture.

Air pollution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, automobiles, cement manufacturing, and agriculture.

Scientists measure the rate of particles in the air per cubic meter.

Particulate matter is sent into the air through a number of processes including burning fossil fuels, driving cars, and making steel.

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. Particles are found in higher concentrations in urban areas, particularly along major roads.

Impact on health

What kinds of health problems can pollution cause?

According to the World Health Organization, a 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, narrowing the arteries and leading to heart attacks or strokes.

In addition to this, almost one in 10 lung cancer cases in the UK is 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 pollution

About seven million people die prematurely each year from air pollution. Pollution can cause a number of problems, including asthma attacks, strokes, various types of cancer, and cardiovascular problems.

Asthma triggers

Air pollution can cause problems for asthma sufferers for a number of reasons. Pollutants in traffic fumes can irritate the airways, and particles can enter the lungs and throat and cause these areas to become inflamed.

Problems in pregnancy

Women exposed to air pollution before becoming pregnant are nearly 20 percent more likely to have babies with birth defects, research suggested in January 2018.

Living within 3 miles of a highly polluted area a month before conceiving makes women more likely to give birth to babies with defects such as a cleft palate or cleft lip, a University of Cincinnati study found.

For every 0.01 mg / m3 increase in fine airborne particles, birth defects increase by 19%, the research adds.

Previous research suggests that this causes birth defects as a result of women experiencing inflammation and “internal stress.”

What is being done to combat air pollution?

Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.

It hopes to keep the global average temperature rise below 2 ° C (3.6 ° F) “and to continue efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 ° C (2.7 ° F).”

Carbon neutral by 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 pollution.

Some critics worry that the government will use this first option to export its carbon offsets to other countries.

International carbon credits allow nations to continue to emit carbon while paying to plant trees 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.

However, parliamentarians from the climate change committee have urged the government to advance the ban until 2030, as by then they will have an equivalent range and price.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.  In the photo: air pollution in Paris in 2019.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.  In the photo: air pollution in Paris in 2019.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change. In the photo: air pollution in Paris in 2019.

Norwegian electric car subsidies

The rapid electrification of Norway’s automotive fleet is mainly attributed to generous state subsidies. Electric cars are almost entirely exempt from the high taxes levied on gasoline and diesel cars, making 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 tax quotient.

Criticism of inaction in the face of climate change

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has said that there is a “shocking” lack of preparation by the government for the risks the country faces as a result of climate change.

The committee assessed 33 areas where climate change risks needed to be addressed, from property resilience to flooding to impacts on farmland and supply chains, and found no real progress on any of them.

The UK is not ready for a 2 ° C warming, the level to which countries have committed to curbing temperature increases, much less a 4 ° C rise, which is possible if greenhouse gases are not reduced. greenhouse effect globally, the committee said.

He added that cities need more green spaces to stop the urban ‘heat island’ effect and to prevent flooding by absorbing heavy rains.

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