Air Pollution can amplify global warming even without CO2

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Air Pollution can amplify global warming even without CO2 (Image: Pixabay)
Air Pollution can amplify global warming even without CO2 (Image: Pixabay)

New Delhi : There has been a notion for so long that the Carbon dioxide released in air pollution is causing adverse effects on the environment, causing global warming. But, a new study has found that the other pollutants released during the combustion of fossil fuels are also the key reasons behind it, impacting the lives of humans on the planet.

The impact of these pollutants on human health, economies, and agriculture can vary depending upon where they are getting emitted.

According to a study, by scientists from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of California San Diego, aerosol pollution affects both climate and air quality in locations around the globe. Aerosols are tiny water droplets suspended in the air and are short-lived, unlike CO2 which stays in the air for a long duration.

Aerosols originate from natural sources, such as ocean spray and mineral dust from deserts, and also from human activities, including the combustion of fossil fuels. They have a cooling effect as they scatter the sunlight in the atmosphere, unlike greenhouse gases which raise the temperature.

It must be noted that when Aerosols are created in bulk then they can create a smog-like effect, stopping the sunlight from reaching the surface of the earth. With this photosynthesis process stops in the area and adversely affects human health via agricultural destruction.

Although CO2 and aerosols are often emitted at the same time during the combustion of fuels, the two substances behave differently in Earth’s atmosphere, said co-lead author Geeta Persad, an assistant professor at the UT Austin Jackson School of Geosciences.

The study was done in eight key regions of the world: Brazil, China, East Africa, Western Europe, India, Indonesia, United States and South Africa.

The results from the study are shocking as the aerosols were found to be affecting human health equally as the CO2 emission in the air. The study also talked about the solution and said that this can be reduced only with a cut on the emissions in nature.