September 19, 2021

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Air pollution does not drop

Although research has shown how Kovit-19 has temporarily improved air quality during the tough months, climate change has already reversed that positive trend. A new report from the World Meteorological Organization warns that extreme weather events triggered by climate and climate change have led to unprecedented sand and dust storms and wildfires affecting air quality.

It was good when it lasted: traffic restrictions and epidemics led to a sharp but short-term decline in major air pollution emissions by 2020, especially in urban areas. However, this is only an illusion of real progress because climate change has pushed these developments back again. A new report from World Meteorological Organization (OMM), title: “Newsletter on air quality and climate ” Reveals that many parts of the world have not yet met the guidelines for achieving this standard and show a close relationship between the two atmospheric conditions.

It is clear that air pollution has a significant impact on human health. According to the WMO Bulletin, the latest global disease assessment estimates that global mortality increased from 2.3 million in 1990 (91% due to micro particles and 9% due to ozone) to 4.5 million in 2019 (92% caused by particulate matter and 8% ozone).

Although emissions of man-made air pollutants declined during the recession caused by COVID-19, extreme weather events caused by climate and environmental change led to sand and dust storms and wildfires.

Despite the undeniable improvements, it is true that data in recent months have not been encouraging. In China, Europe and North America, short-term COV-related emissions reductions combined with long-term emissions mitigation led to a reduction in PM2.5 (highly concentrated atmospheric particle material) by 2020. 2.5 microns, one unit length per thousandth of a millimeter) compared to previous years.

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However, among other weather events, catastrophic wildfires in North America, Europe and Siberia have affected air quality for millions of people, and sand and dust storms have covered many areas and crossed continents. Air quality deteriorated significantly. The WMO Global Atmospheric Watch project examined the behavior of major air pollutants in more than 540 traffic, background and rural stations in 63 cities in 25 countries located in 7 geographical regions of the world.

The data were used to analyze changes in air quality for key pollutants such as PM2.5, sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone. (O3). Measurements during the 2020 closures were 70% of the average concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 30% -40% lower in PM2.5 compared to similar periods in 2015-2019.

However, changes in ozone concentrations vary greatly between regions, with small increases (similar to Europe) and larger increases (+ 25% in East Asia and + 30% in South America) than any global change. SO2 concentrations were 25% to 60% lower in all regions in 2020 than in 2015-2019. CO levels declined in all regions, while a steep decline – up to 40% – was recorded in South America.