Air Pollution on the Environment

Because of the constant pollution of the air access to the clean air and water is now limited. Not only for us. Also for nature including plants and wild animals living in distant ecosystems suffer greatly from the negative impacts of air pollution.

Why Air Pollution is a big threat to the Environment?

Air pollutants can travel long distances and do not respect any boundaries or regions of a special ecological significance. Harmful particles emitted from power plants, cars or mining sites are easily carried hundreds of miles away from their original source and then pollute pristine natural areas.

What are the effects of Air Pollution on the Environment?

Due to the emission of greenhouse gases (like CO2), which trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to the increase of the temperature of the earth.

This increase in earth’s temperature is known as global warming.

This has resulted in:

  • Melting of glaciers
  • Increase in sea levels
  • Climate change
The burning of fossil fuels releases harmful gases (such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides) into the air. The water droplets combine with these pollutants, become acidic, and fall as acid rain. Acid rains will:
  • Remove nutrients from trees leaves and needles, leaving the leaves brown and dead making them unable to absorb sunlight.
  • Acidification of water bodies, making them inhospitable for fish.
  • Changes the soil chemistry, which affects plant metabolism and nutrient cycling.

Image by kelly-mills

The release of chloro-fluoro-carbons, halons, and hydro-chloro-fluoro-carbons in the atmosphere is the major cause of depletion of the ozone layer. 

The depleting ozone layer does not prevent the harmful ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. 

This causes:

  • changes in the development process of plats; such as changes in plant form, how nutrients are distributed within the plant, the timing of the developmental phase and secondary metabolism.

All animals, despite their size, can be affected by pollution. We all including animals depend on oxygen that comes from the air, and when the air is contaminated, harmful gases and particulates are inhaled.

Experts agree that pollution affects animals in the same way as it does humans.

The air pollutants suspend on the water bodies and affect the aquatic life. Pollution also compels the animals to leave their habitat and shift to a new place. This renders them stray and has also led to the extinction of a large number of animal species.