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Air Pollution and the Impacts on the Climate, Environment and Human health

Scientists largely attribute eutrophication to air pollutants that contain oxides of nitrogen. Deposits of nitrogen alter the composition of nutrients in water bodies and the soil. The presence of deposits of nitrogen leads to excessive growth of algae within water bodies preventing other forms of life from surviving in the ecosystem. The reaction of air pollutants creates a gas known as ground-level ozone, which poses numerous health effects to humans and destroys vegetation. Medical experts have identified a correlation between cases of respiratory health problems and rising levels of particulate matter in the atmosphere. Asthmas cases and allergies are on the increase due to the exposure of humans to various kinds of air pollutants containing significant levels of particulate matter and harmful chemicals. Healthcare professionals categorize the health effects of air pollutants as short-tem or long term depending on the signs and symptoms exhibited by patients. The short-term health effects of air pollutants include infection in the upper part of the respiratory system characterized by irritation in the nose and throat, which may advance into bronchitis or pneumonia. Other short-term health effects of air pollutants include eye infections and mild allergic reactions. The long-term health effects of pollution often develop due to lengthy exposure to air pollutants, which worsens the short-term health effects. Mild respiratory infections develop in chronic respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, and cause damages to vital body organs such as the brain, heart, liver and kidney due to the development of opportunistic infections with weakening of the respiratory system.

The concerns on the rising levels of air pollution and the related effects, especially from the perspective of global warming, have prompted demands for the immediate implementation of measures that will reverse the current trend. The mitigation of air pollution requires a controlled approach regarding the balancing of forces that control the atmosphere, climate and environment while ensuring minimal interruption of important human activities. For example, sulfur dioxide, despite being a pollutant, plays a crucial in the regulation of global warming because the gas influences the average level of global temperatures by blocking excess sunlight from the earth. It is important to retain atmospheric sulfur dioxide at levels that will ensure the amount of sunlight reaching the earth does cause extensive warming. The control of industrial and manufacturing activities faces numerous challenges because the implicated sources of air pollution play a key role in the sustenance of various socioeconomic needs. Similarly, the mitigating air pollutants related to the burning of fossil fuels faces challenges considering that automobiles have become part of the day-to-day human activities.

The control of air pollution and global warming requires collaborative efforts between individuals, institutions and governments. Some of the effective measures for controlling air pollution at an individual level include adoption of proper means of disposal or recycling of products that contribute to an increase in greenhouse gases. The major approaches for controlling air pollution at the institutional and government level include adherence to the provisions in the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol encourages countries to participate in the reduction of carbon emissions by adopting the recommended transportation and production systems. Some of these Kyoto Protocol recommendations include the adoption of green energy to minimize the over-reliance on fossil fuels in transport and manufacturing. Some examples of green energy that is gaining international attention as a substitute for fossil fuel includes wind energy and solar energy. The two energy sources have numerous benefits regarding the mitigation of air pollution because they generate energy without involving any aspect of the combustion of hydrocarbons. The sources of green energy will have a significant role in reversing the trend of greenhouse gases while ensuring the sustenance of important human activities. Much investment, in terms of finance and engineering, is necessary to eliminate the over-reliance on fossil fuels as the main source of energy.

Environmentalist and other concerned bodies have publicly supported recommendation concerning the imposition of taxes or fees on entities that contribute to significant levels of carbon emission. The evidence on the damages related to air pollution in various parts of the world demonstrates the need for individual, organization and government to adopt the recommendations in the Kyoto Protocol and from environmentalists.

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