DISCUSSION: When it comes to dealing with various global issues connecting weather events and general health issues, there are several different things which come to mind. One such issue which millions of people around the world deal with on a regular basis is an atmospheric chemistry-based phenomenon known as smog. Since the onset of the industrial revolution, there has been a marketable increase in the overall global demand for fossil fuel resource consumption. In that light, one of the premiere issues when it comes to the increased demand for fossil fuel resources are the atmospheric emissions and airborne chemical by-products which result.
More specifically, when planes, trains, and/or cars around the world burn fossil fuel resources such as (but certainly not limited to) gasoline and/or diesel fuel, there are various types of carbon emissions which are immediately released into the surrounding environment. If such emissions are released into a region where there happens to be a substantial amount of lower level atmospheric water vapor in place (i.e., locally high levels of atmospheric moisture), this can often lead to such emissions becoming “trapped”. To explain a bit further, under typical conditions with relatively clear skies and light winds, most densely populated cities around the world which produce the greatest fossil fuel emissions will often have scenarios where most of the regional emissions will be dispersed and/or deposited over time in varying capacities.
However, when such fossil fuel emissions enter a low-level environment which is predominantly “wet” from greater levels of atmospheric water vapor being in place, such emissions can get trapped in the lowest portion of the atmosphere. As a result of such a scenario, the corresponding fossil fuel emissions can sometimes interact and effectively combine with low-level moisture in place from an ongoing ground fog and/or advection fog event to form a more dangerous health hazard known as smog. When smog forms and persists in more densely populated metropolitan city centers such as Los Angeles, California, Hong Kong, China, and Beijing, China, this can lead to an increased prevalence of health concerns for people with respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Therefore, there are most certainly things which can be done in the hopes of mitigating the future likelihood of smog events in more densely populated regions spread around the world. For example, in the hopes of lowering our collective carbon footprint, anyone around the world can aid in this goal by doing simple things such as making even more consistent use of public transportation as well as doing things like riding a bike or walking to work. It just goes to show that even when there are ominous issues which are faced by millions of people around the world on a routine basis, there are things which can be done to help resolve such issues.
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©2019 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz