Respiratory Effects Associated With Global Climate Change
Notable changes in global climate are projected as likely to occur during the next several decades and well into the next century due to (1) stratospheric ozone depletion caused by anthropogenic emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons (bromine compounds) and other compounds, and (2) global warming due to "greenhouse" gases (such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone, and CFCs). These global climate changes are expected to result in many human health and environmental impacts. Included are likely increased frequency and duration of air stagnation periods, which may contribute to more severe air pollution episodes over urban and rural areas during which more marked elevations in surface level air pollutants (ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, acid aerosols, etc.) are likely to pose increased health risks for exposed human populations. Decrements in pulmonary function, increased respiratory symptoms, impairments of lung defense mechanisms, and possibly more chronic damage to lung tissue and earlier loss of lung capacity with aging are types of respiratory effects associated with exposures to ozone; decrements in lung function, increased morbidity (e.g. higher incidence of bronchitis), and increased mortality (at sufficiently high exposure levels) are associated with exposures to sulfur dioxide, its acidic transformation products,The occurrence and severity of these types of effects associates with increased air pollution levels in many areas of the world, then, will likely be exacerbated by stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming. In turn, certain feedback effects (e.g. increased tropospheric ozone) are likely to contribute to further increase in global warming. Such linkages highlight the need for national and international strategies, both to deal with emerging stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming/climate change issues and, also, with interrelated tropospheric air pollution problems.
KeywordsGlobal Warming Sulfur Dioxide United Nations Environment Programme Tropospheric Ozone Stratospheric Ozone Depletion
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