How does air pollution affect global climate change?

1 Answer
Nov 5, 2015

Greenhouse gas emissions trap more heat in the atmosphere, which in turn warms the rest of the globe.


Earth obtains energy in the form of sunlight. Some of this energy is absorbed by water and land, but the rest turns skyward back to outer space in order for Earth to cool off. However, in the process of leaving Earth, some of this energy (in the form of heat) gets absorbed by greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere - which, of course, warms the atmosphere. The primary greenhouse gasses are methane (#CH_4#) and carbon dioxide (#CO_2#). Though there are others (such as nitrous oxide (#N_2O#), these two make up the majority.

Air pollution comes in as a result of humans putting in more and more carbon into the atmosphere. The majority of human induced carbon emissions come from three things: electricity, transportation, and industry.

All combustion of fossil fuels (oil, coal, natural gas) result in carbon emissions. This means using electricity to heat your home, using gasoline to power your car, and companies with factories that utilize smokestacks all pour #CO_2# into the atmosphere. And, as stated earlier, the more #CO_2# in the atmosphere, the warmer it becomes.