A report on Air pollution

Air pollution from a coking oven
2016 air quality indicator – light colors have lower air quality and thus higher air pollution.
Aviation is a major source of air pollution.
Controlled burning of a field outside of Statesboro, Georgia, in preparation for spring planting
Smoking of fish over an open fire in Ghana, 2018
Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas
Beijing air in 2005 after rain (left) and a smoggy day (right)
E-waste processing in Agbogbloshie, Ghana using open-burning of electronics to access valuable metals like copper. Open burning of plastics is common in many parts of the world without the capacity for processing. Especially without proper protections, heavy metals and other contaminates can seep into the soil, and create water pollution and air pollution.
Schematic drawing, causes and effects of air pollution: (1) greenhouse effect, (2) particulate contamination, (3) increased UV radiation, (4) acid rain, (5) increased ground-level ozone concentration, (6) increased levels of nitrogen oxides
Up to 30% of Europeans living in cities are exposed to air pollutant levels exceeding EU air quality standards. Around 98% of Europeans living in cities are exposed to levels of air pollutants deemed damaging to health by the World Health Organization's more stringent guidelines.
Share of deaths from indoor air pollution
Air quality monitoring, New Delhi, India
Share of deaths from outdoor air pollution, OWID
Comparison of footprint-based and transboundary pollution-based relationships among G20 nations for the number of PM2.5-related premature deaths.
Unprotected exposure to PM2.5 air pollution can be equivalent to smoking multiple cigarettes per day, potentially increasing the risk of cancer, which is mainly the result of environmental factors.
Share of the population exposed to air pollution levels above WHO guidelines, OWID
Artist's illustration of an advanced ET civilization with industrial pollution
Support for a ban on high-emission vehicles in city centres in Europe, China and the US from respondents to the European Investment Bank Climate Survey
Support, use and infrastructure-expansion of forms of public transport that do not cause air pollution may be a critical key alternative to pollution
Tarps and netting are often used to reduce the amount of dust released from construction sites.
Smog in Cairo
Nitrogen dioxide concentrations as measured from satellite 2002–2004
Deaths from air pollution in 2004
Before flue-gas desulfurization was installed, the emissions from this power plant in New Mexico contained excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide.
Thermal oxidisers are air pollution abatement options for hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and odorous emissions.
Deaths from air pollution per 100,000 inhabitants (IHME, 2019)
Burning of items polluting Jamestown environment in Accra, Ghana

Contamination of air due to the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials.

- Air pollution
Air pollution from a coking oven

90 related topics with Alpha

Overall

This diagram shows types, and size distribution in micrometres (μm), of atmospheric particulate matter.

Particulates

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Particulates – also known as atmospheric aerosol particles, atmospheric particulate matter, particulate matter (PM) or suspended particulate matter (SPM) – are microscopic particles of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air.

Particulates – also known as atmospheric aerosol particles, atmospheric particulate matter, particulate matter (PM) or suspended particulate matter (SPM) – are microscopic particles of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air.

This diagram shows types, and size distribution in micrometres (μm), of atmospheric particulate matter.
PM2.5 and PM10 compared with a human hair in a graphic from the Environmental Protection Agency
2005 radiative forcings and uncertainties as estimated by the IPCC.
Global aerosol optical thickness. The aerosol scale (yellow to dark reddish-brown) indicates the relative amount of particles that absorb sunlight.
Particulates in the air causing shades of grey and pink in Mumbai during sunset
Solar radiation reduction due to volcanic eruptions
Air pollution measurement station in Emden, Germany
Deaths from air pollution compared to other common causes
Air quality information on PM10 displayed in Katowice, Poland
Air quality trends in the United States
Air quality trends in the western United States
Air quality trends in the southwestern United States
Concentration of PM10 in Europe

Particulates are the most harmful form (other than ultra-fines) of air pollution due to their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs, blood streams and brain, causing health problems including heart attacks, respiratory disease, and premature death.

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Pollution

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Introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.

Introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change.

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Smog in the center of Moscow, Russia in August 2010
The Lachine Canal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Blue drain and yellow fish symbol used by the UK Environment Agency to raise awareness of the ecological impacts of contaminating surface drainage
An industrial area, with a power plant, south of Yangzhou's downtown, China
Overview of main health effects on humans from some common types of pollution
Great Pacific garbage patch
A litter trap catches floating waste in the Yarra River, east-central Victoria, Australia
Air pollution control system, known as a thermal oxidizer, decomposes hazard gases from industrial air streams at a factory in the United States.
A dust collector in Pristina, Kosovo
A visual comparison of the free market and socially optimal outcomes
Air pollution in the US, 1973
Smog pollution in Taiwan

Air pollution accounted for ¾ of these earlier deaths.

Smog and sunny day within 10-day interval in Fanhe, China

Smog

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Smog and sunny day within 10-day interval in Fanhe, China
The photochemical smog formation diagram. (Based on U 6.3.3 in mrgsciences.com )
Airplane used to collect airborne hydrocarbons, May 1972
The presence of smog in California is shown near the Golden Gate Bridge. The brown coloration is due to the NO2 formed from photochemical smog reactions.
Highland Park Optimist Club wearing smog-gas masks at banquet, Los Angeles, circa 1954
During the autumn and spring months, some 500 million tons of rice and wheat crop residues are burnt, and winds blow from India's north and northwest towards east. This aerial view shows India's annual crop burning, resulting in smoke and air pollution over Delhi and adjoining areas.
Dense smog blankets Connaught Place, New Delhi
Victorian London was notorious for its thick smogs, or "pea-soupers", a fact that is often recreated (as here) to add an air of mystery to a period costume drama
Grease filter hood after 4 days at Italian city polluted air in winter (all surface was white)
Situated in a valley, and relying heavily on automobiles, Mexico City often suffers from poor air quality.
Photochemical smog over Mexico City, December 2010
A NASA astronaut's photograph of a smog layer over central New York
View of smog south from Los Angeles City Hall, September 2011
Counties in the United States where one or more National Ambient Air Quality Standards are not met, as of October 2015
Singapore's Downtown Core on 7 October 2006, when it was affected by forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia
Smog in São Paulo, Brazil
Claude Monet made several trips to London between 1899 and 1901, during which he painted views of the Thames and Houses of Parliament which show the sun struggling to shine through London's smog-laden atmosphere.

Smog, or smoke fog, is a type of intense air pollution.

Average surface air temperatures from 2011 to 2021 compared to the 1956–1976 average

Climate change

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Contemporary climate change includes both global warming and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns.

Contemporary climate change includes both global warming and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns.

Average surface air temperatures from 2011 to 2021 compared to the 1956–1976 average
Change in average surface air temperature since the industrial revolution, plus drivers for that change. Human activity has caused increased temperatures, with natural forces adding some variability.
Global surface temperature reconstruction over the last 2000 years using proxy data from tree rings, corals, and ice cores in blue. Directly observed data is in red.
Drivers of climate change from 1850–1900 to 2010–2019. There was no significant contribution from internal variability or solar and volcanic drivers.
concentrations over the last 800,000 years as measured from ice cores (blue/green) and directly (black)
The Global Carbon Project shows how additions to since 1880 have been caused by different sources ramping up one after another.
The rate of global tree cover loss has approximately doubled since 2001, to an annual loss approaching an area the size of Italy.
Sea ice reflects 50% to 70% of incoming solar radiation while the dark ocean surface only reflects 6%, so melting sea ice is a self-reinforcing feedback.
Projected global surface temperature changes relative to 1850–1900, based on CMIP6 multi-model mean changes.
The sixth IPCC Assessment Report projects changes in average soil moisture that can disrupt agriculture and ecosystems. A reduction in soil moisture by one standard deviation means that average soil moisture will approximately match the ninth driest year between 1850 and 1900 at that location.
Historical sea level reconstruction and projections up to 2100 published in 2017 by the U.S. Global Change Research Program
The IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (2021) projects that extreme weather will be progressively more common as the Earth warms.
Scenarios of global greenhouse gas emissions. If all countries achieve their current Paris Agreement pledges, average warming by 2100 would still significantly exceed the maximum 2 °C target set by the Agreement.
Coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources even as renewables have begun rapidly increasing.
Economic sectors with more greenhouse gas contributions have a greater stake in climate change policies.
Most emissions have been absorbed by carbon sinks, including plant growth, soil uptake, and ocean uptake (2020 Global Carbon Budget).
Since 2000, rising emissions in China and the rest of world have surpassed the output of the United States and Europe.
Per person, the United States generates at a far faster rate than other primary regions.
Academic studies of scientific consensus reflect that the level of consensus correlates with expertise in climate science.
Data has been cherry picked from short periods to falsely assert that global temperatures are not rising. Blue trendlines show short periods that mask longer-term warming trends (red trendlines). Blue dots show the so-called global warming hiatus.
The 2017 People's Climate March took place in hundreds of locations. Shown: the Washington, D.C. march, protesting policies of then-U.S. President Trump.
Tyndall's ratio spectrophotometer (drawing from 1861) measured how much infrared radiation was absorbed and emitted by various gases filling its central tube.
alt=Underwater photograph of branching coral that is bleached white|Ecological collapse. Bleaching has damaged the Great Barrier Reef and threatens reefs worldwide.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://sos.noaa.gov/datasets/coral-reef-risk-outlook/|title=Coral Reef Risk Outlook|access-date=4 April 2020|publisher=National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration|quote=At present, local human activities, coupled with past thermal stress, threaten an estimated 75 percent of the world's reefs. By 2030, estimates predict more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by local human activities, warming, and acidification, with nearly 60% facing high, very high, or critical threat levels.}}</ref>
alt=Photograph of evening in a valley settlement. The skyline in the hills beyond is lit up red from the fires.|Extreme weather. Drought and high temperatures worsened the 2020 bushfires in Australia.<ref>{{harvnb|Carbon Brief, 7 January|2020}}.</ref>
alt=The green landscape is interrupted by a huge muddy scar where the ground has subsided.|Arctic warming. Permafrost thaws undermine infrastructure and release methane, a greenhouse gas.
alt=An emaciated polar bear stands atop the remains of a melting ice floe.|Habitat destruction. Many arctic animals rely on sea ice, which has been disappearing in a warming Arctic.<ref>{{harvnb|IPCC AR5 WG2 Ch28|2014|p=1596|ps=: "Within 50 to 70 years, loss of hunting habitats may lead to elimination of polar bears from seasonally ice-covered areas, where two-thirds of their world population currently live."}}</ref>
alt=Photograph of a large area of forest. The green trees are interspersed with large patches of damaged or dead trees turning purple-brown and light red.|Pest propagation. Mild winters allow more pine beetles to survive to kill large swaths of forest.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://www.nps.gov/romo/learn/nature/climatechange.htm|title=What a changing climate means for Rocky Mountain National Park|publisher=National Park Service|access-date=9 April 2020}}</ref>
Environmental migration. Sparser rainfall leads to desertification that harms agriculture and can displace populations. Shown: Telly, Mali (2008).<ref>{{harvnb|Serdeczny|Adams|Baarsch|Coumou|2016}}.</ref>
Agricultural changes. Droughts, rising temperatures, and extreme weather negatively impact agriculture. Shown: Texas, US (2013).<ref>{{harvnb|IPCC SRCCL Ch5|2019|pp=439, 464}}.</ref>
Tidal flooding. Sea-level rise increases flooding in low-lying coastal regions. Shown: Venice, Italy (2004).<ref name="NOAAnuisance">{{cite web|url=http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/nuisance-flooding.html |title=What is nuisance flooding? |author=National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration |access-date=April 8, 2020}}</ref>
Storm intensification. Bangladesh after Cyclone Sidr (2007) is an example of catastrophic flooding from increased rainfall.<ref>{{harvnb|Kabir|Khan|Ball|Caldwell|2016}}.</ref>
Heat wave intensification. Events like the June 2019 European heat wave are becoming more common.<ref>{{harvnb|Van Oldenborgh|Philip|Kew|Vautard|2019}}.</ref>

Air pollution, in the form of aerosols, not only puts a large burden on human health, but also affects the climate on a large scale.

Since oil fields are located only at certain places on earth, only some countries are oil-independent; the other countries depend on the oil-production capacities of these countries

Fossil fuel

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Hydrocarbon-containing material formed naturally in the earth's crust from the remains of dead plants and animals that is extracted and burned as a fuel.

Hydrocarbon-containing material formed naturally in the earth's crust from the remains of dead plants and animals that is extracted and burned as a fuel.

Since oil fields are located only at certain places on earth, only some countries are oil-independent; the other countries depend on the oil-production capacities of these countries
A petrochemical refinery in Grangemouth, Scotland, UK
An oil well in the Gulf of Mexico
The Global Carbon Project shows how additions to since 1880 have been caused by different sources ramping up one after another.
Global surface temperature reconstruction over the last 2000 years using proxy data from tree rings, corals, and ice cores in blue. Directly observational data is in red, with all data showing a 5 year moving average.
In 2020, renewables overtook fossil fuels as the European Union's main source of electricity for the first time.

Recognition of the climate crisis, pollution and other negative impacts caused by fossil fuels has led to a widespread policy transition and activist movement focused on ending their use in favor of sustainable energy.

NOx

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In atmospheric chemistry, is the term for the nitrogen oxides that are most relevant for air pollution, namely nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide.

A chest X-ray showing a tumor in the lung (marked by arrow)

Lung cancer

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Malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung.

Malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung.

A chest X-ray showing a tumor in the lung (marked by arrow)
Relationship between cigarette consumption per person (blue) and male lung cancer rates (dark yellow) in the US over the century
Risk of death from lung cancer is strongly correlated with smoking.
CT scan showing a cancerous tumor in the left lung
Primary pulmonary sarcoma in an asymptomatic 72-year-old male
Pie chart showing incidences of NSCLCs as compared to SCLCs shown at right, with fractions of smokers versus nonsmokers shown for each type
Cross section of a human lung: The white area in the upper lobe is cancer; the black areas are discoloration due to smoking.
Pneumonectomy specimen containing a squamous-cell carcinoma, seen as a white area near the bronchi
Brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy) for lung cancer given via the airway
Monoclonal antibodies used in the treatment of NSCLC and their mechanism of action https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13110373
The main treatment arms of phase 3 clinical trials providing immunotherapy in the first line for patients with NSCLC https://doi.org/10.3390/ph13110373
Overall survival in NSCLC patients treated with protocols incorporating immunotherapy in the first line for advanced or metastatic disease. Nasser NJ, Gorenberg M, Agbarya A. Pharmaceuticals 2020, 13(11), 373;
Lung cancer, incidence, mortality, and survival, England 1971–2011
Stage IA and IB lung cancer
Stage IIA lung cancer
Stage IIB lung cancer
One option for stage IIB lung cancer, with T2b; but if tumor is within 2 cm of the carina, this is stage 3
Stage IIIA lung cancer
Stage IIIA lung cancer, if there is one feature from the list on each side
Stage IIIA lung cancer
Stage IIIB lung cancer
Stage IIIB lung cancer
Stage IV lung cancer
Trachea, bronchus, and lung cancers deaths per million persons in 2012
0–78–1213–3233–5354–8182–125126–286287–398399–527528–889

These cases are often caused by a combination of genetic factors and exposure to radon gas, asbestos, second-hand smoke, or other forms of air pollution.

Coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources even as renewables have begun rapidly increasing.

Climate change mitigation

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Climate change mitigation consists of actions to limit global warming and its related effects.

Climate change mitigation consists of actions to limit global warming and its related effects.

Coal, oil, and natural gas remain the primary global energy sources even as renewables have begun rapidly increasing.
Multiple pathways exist to limit climate change to 1.5 °C or 2 °C in the context of the temperature goals set forth in the Paris Agreement.
Global greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 2016. For climate change mitigation goals, pathways and mechanisms to effectively transform all sectors have to be developed and implemented at a rapid rate.
Global CO2 emissions by region from fossil fuels combustion, 2019 (not accounting for extradomestic production / imports-footprints)
The 150 MW Andasol solar power station is a commercial parabolic trough solar thermal power plant, located in Spain. The Andasol plant uses tanks of molten salt to store solar energy so that it can continue generating electricity for 7.5 hours after the sun has stopped shining.
The Shepherds Flat Wind Farm is an 845 megawatt (MW) nameplate capacity, wind farm in the US state of Oregon, each turbine is a nameplate 2 or 2.5 MW electricity generator.
The 22,500 MW nameplate capacity Three Gorges Dam in the People's Republic of China, the largest hydroelectric power station in the world.
A comparison of prices over time for energy from nuclear fission and from other sources. Over the presented time, thousands of wind turbines and similar were built on assembly lines in mass production resulting in an economy of scale.
Sketch of a possible super grid. The red squares represent the total surfaces needed for solar collectors of Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP) plants to provide the present electricity demands.
In the European Investment Bank Climate Survey EU citizens said that in Europe, energy should be the most prioritised area of action against climate change.
About 58% of emissions have been absorbed by carbon sinks, including plant growth, soil uptake, and ocean uptake (2020 Global Carbon Budget).
World protected area map with total percentage of each country under protection, where countries in lighter colors have more protected land
Transferring land rights to indigenous inhabitants is argued to efficiently conserve forests.
Helping existing roots and tree stumps regrow even in long deforested areas is argued to be more efficient than planting trees. Lack of legal ownership to trees by locals is the biggest obstacle preventing regrowth.
(A) Untrawled seamount and (B) a trawled seamount. Bottom trawling has destroyed many coastal habitats, a significant sink of carbon.
Schematic showing both terrestrial and geological sequestration of carbon dioxide emissions from a large point source, for example burning natural gas
Alstom Citadis (left) and Eurotram (right) trams in Strasbourg on grassed track
Battery electric bus in Montreal
Outside unit of an air source heat pump
Managed grazing methods are argued to be able to restore grasslands, thereby significantly decreasing atmospheric CO2 levels.
A matrix of the progress in the adoption of management practices and approaches
Bicycles have almost no carbon footprint compared to cars, and canal transport may represent a positive option for certain types of freight in the 21st century.
Carbon emission trade - allowance prices from 2008
The European Investment Bank's Investment Survey 2020 found that firms with active climate policies invest more in energy efficiency.
The European Investment Bank's Investment Survey also found that Western and Northern European firms are more likely to invest in climate mitigation.
More firms plan to invest in climate change mitigation, specifically focusing on low-carbon sectors.
Physical risks of climate change top the list of business concerns for US and EU firms.
Since 1950, world population has tripled.
The emissions of the richest 1% of the global population account for more than twice the combined share of the poorest 50%.
A photo of the September 2019 climate strikes
A typology of discourses aimed at delaying climate change mitigation
Emission responsibility allotments by country/region and industry
Historical and future temperature projections showing importance of mitigating short-lived climate pollutants like methane
Potential emissions from large fossil fuel projects 'carbon bombs' per country
Distribution of committed emissions from developed fossil fuel reserves.
Five broad food policy categories
Emission trading and carbon taxes around the world (2019) 
Carbon emission trading implemented or scheduled
Carbon tax implemented or scheduled
Carbon emission trading or carbon tax under consideration

A review of studies by the Stanford Solutions Project concluded that relying on Carbon capture and storage/utilization (CCS/U) is a dangerous distraction, with it (in most and large-scale cases) being expensive, increasing air pollution and mining, inefficient and unlikely to be deployable at the scale required in time.

The most important resonance form of carbon monoxide is –C≡O+. An important minor resonance contributor is the non-octet carbenic structure :C=O.

Carbon monoxide

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Colorless, highly poisonous, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air.

Colorless, highly poisonous, odorless, tasteless, flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air.

The most important resonance form of carbon monoxide is –C≡O+. An important minor resonance contributor is the non-octet carbenic structure :C=O.
Carbon monoxide concentrations in Northern Hemisphere spring as measured with the MOPITT instrument
Energy level scheme of the σ and π orbitals of carbon monoxide
The HOMO of CO is a σ MO.
The LUMO of CO is a π* antibonding MO.
Structure of iron pentacarbonyl.
Iron pentacarbonyl.

Upon emission into the atmosphere, carbon monoxide affects several processes that contribute to climate change.

Smog in Shanghai, December 1993—an example of air conditions typically rated as unhealthy

Air quality index

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Smog in Shanghai, December 1993—an example of air conditions typically rated as unhealthy
An annotated satellite photo showing smoke from wildfires in Greece, giving rise to an elevated AQI downwind
An air quality measurement station in Edinburgh, Scotland
Signboard in Gulfton, Houston indicating an ozone watch
PM2.5 24-Hour AQI Loop, Courtesy US EPA
A global air quality map

An air quality index (AQI) is used by government agencies to communicate to the public how polluted the air currently is or how polluted it is forecast to become.