Fossil fuel companies are quietly planning nearly 200 ‘carbon bomb’ oil and gas projects

Emissions

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the main contributors to global warming. Once the gas is released into the atmosphere, it stays there, making it difficult for heat to escape – and warming the planet in the process.

It is mainly released by the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, as well as by the production of cement.

The average monthly concentration of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere, in April 2019, was 413 parts per million (ppm). Before the industrial revolution, the concentration was only 280 ppm.

CO2 concentration has fluctuated over the past 800,000 years between 180 and 280 ppm, but has been greatly accelerated by human-caused pollution.

Nitrogen dioxide

Gaseous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) comes from burning fossil fuels, car exhaust and the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers used in agriculture.

Although there is much less NO2 in the atmosphere than CO2, it is between 200 and 300 times more effective at trapping heat.

sulfur dioxide

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) also comes mainly from the combustion of fossil fuels, but can also be released through car exhaust.

SO2 can react with water, oxygen and other chemicals in the atmosphere to cause acid rain.

Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an indirect greenhouse gas because it reacts with hydroxyl radicals, eliminating them. Hydroxyl radicals reduce the lifetime of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Particles

What is particulate matter?

Particulate matter refers to tiny parts of solid or liquid matter in the air.

Some are visible, like dust, while others are not visible to the naked eye.

Materials such as metals, microplastics, soil, and chemicals can be particles.

Particulate matter (or PM) is described in micrometers. The two main ones mentioned in reports and studies are PM10 (less than 10 micrometers) and PM2.5 (less than 2.5 micrometers).

Air pollution comes from burning fossil fuels, cars, cement manufacturing and agriculture

Scientists measure the rate of particles in the air per cubic meter.

The particles are sent into the air by a number of processes, including burning fossil fuels, driving cars and making steel.

Why are particles dangerous?

The particles are dangerous because those less than 10 micrometers in diameter can penetrate deep into your lungs and even pass into your bloodstream. Particles are found in higher concentrations in urban areas, especially along major roads.

Health impact

What kinds of health problems can pollution cause?

According to the World Health Organization, a third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease can be linked to air pollution.

Some of the effects of air pollution on the body are not understood, but pollution can increase inflammation which narrows arteries, leading to heart attacks or strokes.

Additionally, almost one in 10 cases of lung cancer in the UK is caused by air pollution.

The particles enter and lodge in the lungs, causing inflammation and damage. In addition to this, certain chemicals contained in the particles that enter the body can cause cancer.

Pollution deaths

About seven million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution. Pollution can cause a number of problems including asthma attacks, strokes, various cancers and cardiovascular problems.

Asthma triggers

Air pollution can cause problems for asthmatics for a number of reasons. Pollutants in traffic fumes can irritate the airways, and the particles can enter your lungs and throat and cause these areas to become inflamed.

Problems during pregnancy

Women exposed to air pollution before getting pregnant are almost 20% more likely to have babies with birth defects, according to a January 2018 study.

According to a University of Cincinnati study, living within 3 miles of a heavily polluted area a month before conceiving makes women more likely to give birth to babies with defects such as cleft palate or lips.

For every 0.01 mg/m3 increase in fine particles in the air, birth defects increase by 19%, the research adds.

Previous research suggests it causes birth defects as a result of women suffering from inflammation and ‘internal stress’.

What are we doing to fight against air pollution?

Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.

It hopes to contain the increase in the global average temperature below 2°C (3.6°F) “and continue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C (2.7°F) “.

Carbon neutral by 2050

The British government has announced its intention to make the country carbon neutral by 2050.

They plan to achieve this by planting more trees and installing “carbon capture” technology at the source of the pollution.

Some critics fear that this first option will be used by the government to export its carbon offset to other countries.

International carbon credits allow nations to continue emitting carbon while paying for trees to be planted elsewhere, thereby balancing their emissions.

No new petrol or diesel vehicles by 2040

In 2017, the UK government announced that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars would be banned by 2040.

However, MPs on the climate change committee have urged the government to delay the ban until 2030 because by then they will have equivalent range and price.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change.  Pictured: Air pollution over Paris in 2019.

The Paris Agreement, which was first signed in 2015, is an international agreement to control and limit climate change. Pictured: Air pollution over Paris in 2019.

Norwegian subsidies for electric cars

The rapid electrification of the Norwegian car fleet is mainly attributed to generous state subsidies. Electric cars are almost entirely exempt from the heavy taxes imposed on petrol and diesel cars, making them competitively priced.

A VW Golf with a standard combustion engine costs nearly 334,000 crowns (34,500 euros, $38,600), while its electric cousin the e-Golf costs 326,000 crowns thanks to a lower tax quotient.

Criticisms of inaction on climate change

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said there was a “shocking” lack of government preparedness for the risks that climate change poses to the country.

The committee assessed 33 areas where climate change risks needed to be addressed – from flood resilience of properties to impacts on farmland and supply chains – and found no real progress in any of them. between them.

The UK is unprepared for a 2°C warming, the level at which countries have pledged to curb the rise in temperatures, let alone a 4°C rise, which is possible if gases greenhouse gases are not being reduced globally, the committee said.

He added that cities need more green spaces to stop the urban “heat island” effect and to prevent flooding by absorbing heavy rains.

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