Think we'll see Air Pollution Cause Global Warming?

Is the earth really getting warmer, and does air pollution cause global warming as they say? Global warming is the much-talked-about trend showing that the atmosphere surrounding the earth is heating up.

Mauna Loa Carbon Dioxide (CO2) concentrations October 2012

Even though it has its critics, there is some evidence that it has already taken place to some degree or another and it certainly seems logical enough. One contributor to this global warming is the rise in air pollution recorded over recent centuries.

How does it work in the first place? Our earth has a layer of air around it known as the atmosphere. Its layers create what is popularly called a greenhouse effect.  Why call it that?   Long-wave radiation originating at the surface of the earth and travelling upward gets stopped by certain gases in the air above.  Some of this energy heads back down to the surface and becomes part of a cycle, and the net effect of this recycling is the gradual rising in the average surface temperature.  The name comes from an analogy to the glass in a greenhouse which stops the physical flow and escape of air from inside the glass building.

Our atmosphere also protects the earth from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the sun while forming this barrier that keeps the heat near the planet. Without this air surrounding the earth, the climate would be more like that of the moon, if you can say such a thing, and life would be nonexistent.

According to experts in air quality conservation, we have a number of common pollutants increasing the natural greenhouse effect that has been place for millions of years. The pollutants, which we call greenhouse gases, sometimes form from natural processes.

For instance:

Carbon dioxide is produced by volcanoes, combustion, animals breathing and the decay of organic substances.

Methane gas, which is twenty-one times stronger than carbon dioxide as far as global warming is concerned, comes from bogs, animals, plants and swamps.

Nitrous oxide. Can this air pollution cause global warming? Yeah, it's over 300 times as powerful as carbon dioxide and emits from microbial processes and bacterial breakdown of nitrogen both on land and in water as well as natural fertilizers.

How can air pollution cause global warming when under natural conditions, these very same gases make an important part of the atmosphere? And...

Does Air Pollution Cause Global Warming?

The delicate balance of these gases could be upset by the addition of more gases produced when people burn fossil fuels to power cars, factories, and other "civilized" things.

Decades ago, the United States of America had had the worst emissions and was known to be one of the most obvious examples where we saw air pollution cause global warming in the world. While they have improved, other nations have grown in this area. And caught up.

If global warming turns out to become a problem, it could have serious consequences. For this reason, there have been a number of international air quality conferences to assess the situation and to discuss what can stem the tide. And if anything we do can help.

If the entire earth were to rise in temperature by only a few degrees, more polar ice caps would be expected to melt. And this has been hypothesized to cause flooding in coastal cities worldwide as the sea level continued to rise.

Insect population increased by Global Warming

These anticipated consequences were summed up quite neatly after a few years and presented by Al Gore in his 2006 blockbuster film, An Inconvenient Truth, where he relayed his passion and commitment for the process and the potential ramifications.  We have not seen all of his predictions come to light in more recent years, however they may yet in the longer future and the principles presented did make sense.

Another concern scientists have about global warming is that it could seriously impact agriculture. In this case, warmer temperatures, which might be good for crops in some areas, but it might also help insect pests thrive and eventually take over.  Do you think so?  The earth can handle it.  It has before.

Our biggest concerns with industrial air emissions remain the impacts in the immediate region.  Chemicals and particulates that impact the area within a few kilometres from the site should and do concern us more than for more distant regions, as by the time they are transported that far they are almost always dissipated down to marginal concentrations. 

Read about how professional air dispersion consultants, such as yours truly, help industry deal with these kind of situations.  Here, also, is a chance to hire our company for ambient air quality modelling services if you're in a situation where it is needed.

Have I got the Wrong Idea?

Maybe you know something I don't. Something the world needs to hear about. This short website cannot include everything and if it's important to you, it's important to me.

So what's really the story with global warming? I'd like to know. If you have a picture, I'll even include it here. Try me.

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A few closing thoughts

For a variety of reasons, it makes sense to try to use fewer fossil fuels, vote wisely, and even donate money to organizations devoted to air pollution cause global warming is even projected by some to lead to widespread death and destruction.

It has been a hot political issue in the States in recent decades though its position in the news has periodically been preempted by political and economic strife. Overall, everybody seems to have something to say, and some will try to convince you one way or another. Do your own research and think for yourself on this one.

Need a little help?  Here's the latest global warming news for your reference:

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The greenhouse effect is important for life on earth, and the earth appears to be growing warmer.

Learn which substances in air pollution can cause global warming.

Are you concerned about Air Pollution in your area?

Maybe modelling air pollution will get you the answers you need for this problem.

That's what I do full-time.  Try it.

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