Climate change and toxic pollution: Which countries are most at risk?
In a new study, researchers have demonstrated a “strong correlation” between toxic pollution, which directly damages human health, and nontoxic pollution, which contributes to global heating and climate change.
In the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers identified countries that the international community can effectively support to reduce the negative effects of both types of pollution.
The researchers also identified countries that will require support to “address governance challenges in order to have a chance at successfully addressing pollution risk,” says Dr. Richard Marcantonio from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, IN, and his study co-authors.
Pollution and global heating
Human pollution has had a profound negative effect on ecologies across the world. This pollution originates from toxic emissions — such as fine particulate matter, or PM2.5 — and nontoxic emissions, such as greenhouse gasses.
Over the past few centuries, humans have released more greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere, increasing the Earth’s temperature and contributing to climate change.
Researchers have shown that climate change poses a significant threat to human health, and believe that some of the negative ecological and human health effects of climate change are irreversible.
Scientists are concerned that tipping points, which may soon be crossed, cause “self-reinforcing feedbacks” in global heating, according to Prof. Will Steffen, a climate change expert and emeritus professor at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, and his co-authors. This would limit humanity’s ability to collectively respond to the climate crisis.
Toxic pollution, such as fine particulate matter, is also a major health issue. #blueskye #blueskyefoundation #greentechexchange #zerocarbon #climatenews
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