Air Pollution Effects On the Environment are the most underrated topics when we worry about the topic of sustainable environmental protection.
People are also concerned about the substantial health and other repercussions of air pollution on themselves, as opposed to the air pollution effects on the environment, which are always a secondary concern.
But, the absurd truth is that these undervalued effects are the primary cause of the vast majority of health problems, which will one day lead to catastrophic events.
The environment is not a component we cannot ignore, as is commonly believed, but a component of the ecosystem that always determines our life and fate.
Let’s discuss the most important air pollution effects on the environment that you can never ignore with Know Your Facts. Enjoy the content.
Key Factors Behind Air Pollution Effects On the Environment
Almost all the air pollutants in the atmosphere have a sort of contributing to air pollution, there are a number of key factors leading the Air Pollution Effects On the Environment.
A few of them can be identified as follows.
1. Sulfur Oxides – SOx
There are main two components of these oxides category that directly involve air pollution.
- Sulfur dioxide – SO2
- Sulfur trioxide – SO3
In addition to endangering respiratory systems, these oxides are capable of causing hazardous situations such as acid showers.
Typically, sulfur dioxide appears more frequently on this list of contributors.
In the early days of industrialization, when the sulfur content of fuel was higher, the majority of automobiles emitted more sulfur dioxide.
Despite the fact that sulfur-non-contained fuel has been used as standard gasoline to reduce sulfur oxide emissions under the latest regulations, power stations and other industrial facilities, such as ore-extraction facilities, make a much larger contribution.
Even today, natural phenomena such as volcanic eruptions conceal the last SOx release to the atmosphere during wildfire season.
2. Nitrogen Oxides – NOx
Same as the sulfur oxides nitrogen has also got main two contributors to Air Pollution Effects On the Environment.
- Nitric oxide – NO
- Nitrogen dioxide – NO2
Other than the same contribution to acid rains same as the sulfur oxides, nitrogen dioxides mainly contributed to,
- Photochemical effect
- Reduce cultivation yield
- React with surfaces and reduce shine
One of the key reasons for to release of nitrogen oxides is the fossil-fueled electric power plants, and the upstream oil and gas industry.
But in the lighting process and internal engine combustion reacts with N2 gas in the atmosphere leading to these oxides as a byproduct of the situation.
3. Water Vapor
It is humorous to hear that water is the primary cause of Air Pollution Effects On the Environment.
Actually, water is a major contributor to the maintenance of the phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect. Due to increased coverage from:
- Natural evaporation of the water bodies
- Air vapor in nuclear power plants,
water vapor cannot be controlled as other air pollutants. The water vapor in the upper atmosphere absorbs heat radiated from Earth and prevents it from escaping into space.
This further warms the atmosphere, resulting in an increase in atmospheric water vapor. Due to this, the earth’s interior temperature is maintained, which contributes to global warming in the uncontrolled level of conditions.
4. Carbon Dioxide
Carbon oxides are one of the most prevalent air pollutants produced by human activity.
With the presence of carbon, combustion processes in industry and other activities release carbon oxides (CO2 and CO). A few of the most common causes of carbon dioxide are listed below.
- Organisms respire or decompose
- Wildfires occurrence
- Volcanoes eruption
- Vehicle internal combustion
In addition to carbon monoxide’s effect on human health, carbon dioxide is a significant factor in the photosynthesis process of plants, which sustains life on earth.
Negative aspects of carbon dioxide’s contribution to the earth exist.
- Contribute to the greenhouse impact
- Contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.
Compared to other air pollutants, carbon oxide does not pose as much of a threat, and this pollutant has more industrial applications than problematic conditions.
Other than these pollutants, the following air pollutants are behind air pollution.
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),
Other than each air pollutant’s contribution to Air Pollution Effects On the Environment, some of the air pollutants are key reasons for the occurrence of other air contaminants too.
Air Pollution Effects On the Environment
Here are some common effects of air pollution that directly impact the earth’s ecosystem.
Enhanced Green House Effect
Greenhouses are a common method of cultivating crops and flowers in nations located further from the equator due to their walls and roofs’ ability to retain heat.
Similar to this process, our outer atmosphere works as a wall or shelter to regulate the interior temperature by preventing heat from escaping from the surface.
This is a necessary occurrence for the earth to maintain its most fundamental functions and protect life on the planet.
When this atmosphere is dominated by ‘greenhouse gases,’ this scenario transforms into the ‘Enhanced Green House Effect,’ which is responsible for the bulk of disastrous events on earth.
The following gases account for the majority of greenhouse gases:
- Carbon dioxide
- Nitrous oxides
- . Water vapor
Due to the greenhouse effect, the world is undergoing global warming, which has led to an increase in dangerous situations over the past decade.
In the past century, the earth’s temperature has risen by 1 degree of Fahrenheit, which is a far more catastrophic issue than we realize.
- Rise in sea level
- Glaciers melting in pole areas
- Loss of coastal land, a change
- Droughts and floods,
- Impact on biodiversity
- Frequent wildfires
- Change the duration and intensity of tropical storms
In addition to a rise in temperature, global warming causes long-term climate changes and has a significant impact on life on earth.
As previously stated, acid rains are created by any sort of precipitation that falls into the soil. Although we presume that most of them are acid rain, there may be other exceptions:
Which possessed an acidic state. Most of the acid-containing precipitates are generated as a part result of mixing them up with NOx (Nitrogen oxides) or SOx (Sulfur oxides) which behave as acidic oxides in the upper atmosphere and are capable of making acidic rain after a number of steps.
There are two primary types of acid rain.
- Wet deposition
- Dry deposition
As indicated in acid rains, acid deposition is primarily concerned with its liquid formation. The categories previously listed also symbolize this.
Dry deposition, on the other hand, is the fall of acid particles onto water bodies, which creates an acidified environment that is more dangerous than before due to the absence of dilution.
A number of issues can result from acid rain.
- Damage on the Material surfaces
- Impact on flora
- Impact on soil
- Issue in water bodies
- Effect on wildlife, water life, and humans
In addition to having an effect on the ecology, this puts humans at risk for a number of medical issues.
The ozone shield is the region of the earth’s stratosphere that absorbs a substantial percentage of the sun’s UV rays, which are extremely hazardous to humans.
This absorption mechanism is a cycle between ozone and oxygen that is powered by ultraviolet light. When various gases:
- Halons (Cl or Br)
released by the industrial process do vast damage to the ozone layer. As a result of human activities, gases have gained access to the upper atmosphere as gases; ozone combines with these gases to form patches that openly invite all damaging rays. This occurrence is known as Ozone depletion.
According to research findings, one chlorine atom can decompose more than one hundred thousand ozone molecules in the ozone layer.
Exposure to ultraviolet is quite hazardous more than you imagine. Most skin-based medical conditions have a greater chance of entering the body in the absence of adequate protection. For Examples:
- Skin cancer
- Impaired immune systems
- Increase in melanoma
Photochemical Effect or Smog
The photochemical effect is a sort of summertime smog, as opposed to the wintertime version of conventional smog.
When UV radiation from the sun interacts with the primary pollutant of NOx (nitrogen Oxide) and secondary pollutants of ozone peroxyacetyl nitrates (PAN), and volatile organic compounds present in the smoke, photochemical smog production occurs.
This pollution is often brownish in color and more prevalent in the mornings and evenings. Principal contributors to NOx, PANs, and volatile organic compounds emissions.
- Power plants
- Volcano eruptions
- Industrial exhaust smoke
Despite the fact that photochemical impacts on the environment by covering the photosynthesis process, this smoke has direct effects on humans, including coughing, burning eyes, itchiness in the nose, severe itchiness in the airways, quick or shallow breathing, and discomfort associated with breathing.