Friday, November 18, 2011

How is air pollution affecting climate change?

Air pollution is still a major environmental issue in many countries of the world, particularly fast developing economies such as China. Air pollution can increase the impact of climate change as according to the scientists from the University of Maryland excessive air pollution can worsen droughts and flooding simultaneously in different regions by strongly affecting cloud development.

The scientists have discovered that certain air pollutants such as soot and dust can have severe effect on weather and climate, reducing precipitation in dry regions while increasing rain, snowfall and the intensity of severe storms in wet regions.

This means that the developing regions susceptible to extreme events such as drought and flood must do necessary steps to prevent excessive air pollution.

This also means that the policies which aim to protect climate and limit global temperature must also include possible solutions to reduce air pollution levels, or in other words climate change and air pollution are environmental issues that need to be solved simultaneously.

The role of greenhouse gases in global climate change phenomenon has been very thoroughly studied and the same cannot be said for the role of air pollutants which have been very rarely put in a correlation with climate change.

Pursuing ambitious climate change policies and focusing on renewable energy can not only reduce the level of carbon emissions in our atmosphere but can also reduce a number of other air pollutants that are not only harmful to our environment but also to our health.

The world leaders so far haven't showed a desire to tackle both these issues in a tandem. In fact, even tackling climate change alone seems to be a mission impossible because the world is still very much divided in two blocks - developed and developing countries.

The world has reached a critical point where all environmental issues seem to be heavily interconnected which means that policies to tackle different environmental issues must complement each other, with of course the main emphasis being on climate change.

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