The air we breathe is all around us, and it may seem like nothing more than the oxygen we need to survive. It’s true that humans and animals alike can’t survive without it; however, there are some serious concerns about the quality of Earth’s air.
With increasing pollution levels in many parts of the world, this has become a more relevant topic than ever.
The concern about the state of Earth’s air quality is backed by some shocking statistics. A quarter of a million people die from dirty air every year, and an additional 3 to 6 million suffer from disabilities related to poor air quality.
Many cities have been faced with dangerous spikes in pollution levels over the past few decades; and, since we’re all breathing the same air, this leads to the question:
Is the Earth’s air quality safe?
According to a study by NASA, Earth has been experiencing an increase in greenhouse gases for at least half a century. This has resulted not only in warmer global temperatures but also increased levels of smog.
The pollutants in the air disturb the amount of sunlight that’s able to shine through Earth’s atmosphere. With more clouds and pollution obscuring this light, it prevents the atmosphere from cooling down.
When oceans, forests, and other vegetation burn they release carbon dioxide into the air; causing even higher levels of greenhouse gases on top of those already being produced by factories and vehicles.
But, that’s not all that’s contributing to the problem. A study conducted last year showed that burning fossil fuels has led to a dramatic decrease in air quality around the planet.
Particles of pollution are so small that they’re able to enter people’s lungs and bloodstreams easily – causing damage and even death.
Two of the most severe examples of this can be seen in China and India; where thousands upon thousands of citizens live without breathable air due to smog that’s trapped by the mountains surrounding these countries.
Believe it or not, there are actually very few regulations on what kinds of toxins factories have to follow when making these products we see every day. Luckily, studies like the one by NASA have paved the way for stricter air quality laws as well as accountability from those who produce dangerous pollutants.
It’s thanks to organizations like NASA and the EPA that we now understand how pollution is affecting our planet so everyone can take better care of it.
With the help of researchers, scientists, and environmentalists around the globe, it’s believed that we’ll be able to make Earth’s air quality safe for everyone in no time.