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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10204/6322

Title: Air Quality: its impact on climate change
Authors: Thambiran, T
Keywords: Fossil fuel combustion
Air quality
Greenhouse gas emission
Air pollution
Climate change
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Publisher: Academy of Science South Africa
Citation: Thambiran, T. 2012. Air Quality: its impact on climate change. Quest, vol. 8(2), pp 35-36
Series/Report no.: Workflow;9848
Abstract: The combustion or burning of fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal emits pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Even though these emissions can originate from the same sources we find that SO2, CO, PM are traditionally classified as air pollutants, whereas CO2 is classified as a greenhouse gas. Air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions are often studied, monitored and managed separately. There are various reasons for this. The first is that the lifetimes of these pollutants in the atmosphere differ greatly. For example, SO2 can remain in the atmosphere for a few days whereas CO2 can remain in the atmosphere for a hundred years. Secondly, air pollutants have more immediate and local impacts on human health and ecosystems, whereas the effects of the greenhouse gases are more long-term, as they are able to absorb sunlight and thus contribute toward long-term changes in surface temperatures and have impacts on the global climate. As a result of these differences, the policies to deal with air quality and climate change issues have also been developed at different scales. Policy to deal with air pollution is generally developed at a national level, with opportunities for regional and local policies, where the ultimate goal is the protection of human health and ecosystems through air quality management. Climate change policy has, however, developed at an international level, where the main aims are to mitigate or slow down climate change through a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and to adapt to the consequent damage that could occur as a result of climatic changes.
Description: Copyright: 2012 Academy of Science of South Africa
URI: http://content.yudu.com/Library/A1x7u6/Quest82/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Ffree.yudu.com%2Fitem%2Fdetails%2F541403%2FQuest-8-2-
ISSN: 1729-830X
Appears in Collections:Climate change
General science, engineering & technology

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