Lahore Smog,An individual responsibility

Smog is a type of air pollution which is a mixture of smoke and fog. This describes the atmospheric condition of a particular area. This word was firstly used by H.A Des Voeux in 1905 to describe atmospheric conditions of towns and was popularized when he wrote a report on smog abatement league due to more than 1000 deaths were observed in Glasgow and Edinburgh during autumn of 1909 from this mixture of smog and fog. smog is of two types, sulfurous smog, and photochemical smog. Sulfurous smog is known as London smog which is caused by high concentration of sulfur dioxide coming from fossil fuels burning, coal, and due to the high concentration of suspended particles.

Photochemical smog is known as Los Angles smog that usually occurs in urban areas due to a large number of vehicles. This type of smog doesn’t need fog and smoke. Only nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons coming from vehicular emissions are needed.in Lahore photochemical smog is observed in summer while sulfurous smog is observed in winter. Air pollution is increasing due to industrialization and urbanization causing a destruction of our environment and affecting our climate. Climate has totally changed now. Smog is affecting our health while climate change is affecting our future in negative ways.

Lahore is one of the heavily populated cities of Pakistan having so many industries in its adjoining areas. A beautiful and charming city is now suffering a very dangerous type of air pollution known as smog just because of its citizen’s carelessness and selfishness. We are not safe either it is winter or summer. In winter a thick blanket of fog is mostly observed around us when we are unable to see one another at a small distance. When we come out of our home with the fear of getting ill and being injured in an accident. This fog reduces visibility to 0 level, not only visibility but it also puts the citizen into zero level work condition.it effects country’s economy very badly. It has many harmful effects on our health.

People have suffered from diseases such as asthma and lung diseases. Many people have died from smog in past years. According to Deutsche Welle Website, Lahore is now on the list of top 10 cities having worst smog in the world in 2014. Worst smog in Lahore is also observed in 2017.Smog in Lahore is not only observed in winter even also in summer it is observed. Reasons of this smog in Lahore are;

 

  •  Cutting of trees for construction purpose
  • Establishment of industries such as coal power plants and nitrous oxides emissions from it
  • Emissions from burning of Fossil fuels
  • Vehicular emissions
  •  Burning of agriculture crops

 

The government of Pakistan has taken strict actions to control smog as more than 500 people complaint daily about the eye, throat irritation, accidents and deaths due to smog. Thirteen power plants were banned for working more than 12 hours, 100 people were arrested for burning crops. Lahore police have said that they have collected fines from drivers for not following emission standards in recent smoggy days was about 50,000$. Although many media campaigns have started by the government of Punjab and also by many private societies to provide awareness to people about smog. But still, there is need to make people understand about environment importance in their lives. This is all due to individual’s carelessness because we are playing a major role in our environmental destruction. But we need to understand that if there is no healthy environment then there will be no good future.

Smog has many health effects such as coughing, throat and chest irritation while leads to lung damage after exposure to smog for a long duration. breathing problem at the start may also lead to asthma attacks. eyes and nose irritation is mostly observed. According to World health organization, more than 60,000 people have died from air pollution.so we need to take certain precautions such as we must wear masks and glasses while working in smoggy areas or going outdoors. Try to avoid areas having more traffic preferring fewer crowd roads. The burning of agricultural material should be avoided. The high speed of vehicles should also be avoided. Fuel-efficient vehicles such as hybrid and solar energy consuming vehicles should be preferred.

We must use public transport and should prefer to walk rather than using our private vehicles. Because less fuel is consumed so prevention of smog creation will be done. this will not only reduce consumption of fuel and air pollution but also traffic issue would be under control Cutting of trees should be stopped. monitoring techniques for air emissions should be introduced in industries. But our first preference should be to work indoor while avoiding outdoor work. But the major reason for smog in Lahore is vehicular emissions and cutting of trees. The report that was presented to the government of Punjab has explained that the number of vehicles in Lahore has been increasing rapidly from the last few years. Trees act as regulators for the atmosphere as they make the air clean.in November 2017 Lahore was surrounded by dense smog We are responsible for making our environment unhealthy for us. We need to change our attitude towards it.

Although many of us have awareness about it we have to convey our knowledge to others. we need to protect not only ourselves but also our future generations. we are using vehicles for our comfort establishing factories to make lifestyle better and to earn more money without thinking about its harmful impacts without using monitoring techniques and cutting down trees for constructing our beautiful homes and other buildings without thinking about that what we are doing to our environment. We must think that if we have beautiful homes, more money and good lifestyle but the unhealthy environment and no health then it will be useless to have all that.

Earth Temperature and Climate Change

Earth’s temperature depends on the balance between energy entering and leaving the planet’s system. When incoming energy from the sun is absorbed by the Earth system, Earth warms. When the sun’s energy is reflected back into space, Earth avoids warming. When absorbed energy is released back into space, Earth cools. Many factors, both natural and human, can cause changes in Earth’s energy balance, including:

These factors have caused Earth’s climate to change many times.

Scientists have pieced together a record of Earth’s climate, dating back hundreds of thousands of years (and, in some cases, millions or hundreds of millions of years), by analyzing a number of indirect measures of climate such as ice cores, tree rings, glacier lengths, pollen remains, and ocean sediments, and by studying changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun.

This record shows that the climate system varies naturally over a wide range of time scales. In general, climate changes prior to the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s can be explained by natural causes, such as changes in solar energy, volcanic eruptions, and natural changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.

Recent climate changes, however, cannot be explained by natural causes alone. Research indicates that natural causes do not explain most observed warming, especially warming since the mid-20thcentury. Rather, it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming.

Human activities contribute to climate change by causing changes in Earth’s atmosphere in the amounts of greenhouse gasses, aerosols (small particles), and cloudiness. The largest known contribution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide gas into the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gasses and aerosols affect climate by altering incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared (thermal) radiation that are part of Earth’s energy balance. Changing the atmospheric abundance or properties of these gasses and particles can lead to a warming or cooling of the climate system.

Since the start of the industrial era (about 1750), the overall effect of human activities on climate has been a warming influence. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds that due to known changes in natural processes, such as solar changes and volcanic eruptions.so we need to have control on our activities to save our future.

 

Risks Related to Climate Change

The impacts of climate change on forests will vary widely based on the species involved and other factors.  With increasing CO2, forest productivity will likely increase until other impacts of climate change, such as increased risks of drought, forest fire, pests, and invasive species present additional stressors to forests.  As temperatures rise, the distribution and composition of tree species will continue to shift northward.  In practical terms, this translates into a transition from maple and birch as the preferred tree species to oak and hickory by 2100.  Some species, such as red pine, may completely retreat from the Great Lakes region by the end of the century.

Forest management in the region will need to adapt as the potential impacts become clearer.  Planting species that will provide critical habitat for wildlife while remaining resistant to increased risks from pests is one potential option.  In many cases, the facilitation of new species into the region may be more ecologically sound than the preservation of existing traditional species.

As habitat zones shift northward with temperature, many animal species may also need to migrate north as well.  The Great Lakes will be a barrier for migration to many species and will be a critical obstacle for those unable to adapt.  Wildlife that relies on wetlands may be at greatest risk, as increased evaporation rates may reduce total wetland coverage, and further stress those species.

Fish populations throughout the Great Lakes region may become less diverse.  Warmer water temperatures will likely lead to a decline in Coldwater fish populations as warm water fish populations become more abundant.  The overall productivity in lakes and waterways may be reduced by lake stratification and increased a frequency of hypoxic conditions.

As species distributions change, the conservation of wildlife will require similar shifts in protected natural areas, and accommodations in land use and development may be necessary.   As with changing vegetation, the facilitation of new, ecologically beneficial species into the region is an option.

Lower summer water levels are likely to limit groundwater recharge, cause small streams to dry up, and lead to a reduction in wetlands, resulting in poorer water quality and less habitat for wildlife.

More frequent and intense precipitation events due to climate change may amplify existing land use impacts.  Impervious surfaces impair the natural flood-absorbing capacities of wetlands and floodplains, thereby increasing the risk of flooding and erosion.  As severe storms increase in number and strength, watersheds and other ecosystems adjacent to agricultural and urban environments will be particularly vulnerable to damage and contaminated runoff.

Urban environments may need to allocate more “green” space and use more permeable pavement to alleviate increased flooding and erosion risks from more severe precipitation events.  Appropriate land use practices, such as increasing development density and the expansion of protected areas along waterways, will likely be necessary to alleviate increased risks of erosion and preserve increasingly critical wildlife habitat.

Climate Change

Climate change is basically changed in weather patterns that are caused by global warming. Global warming is a warming of globe mean warming of our earth.this warming brings drastic changes in our environment. Reasons behind this warming is 1) Anthropogenic activities

2) Natural activities

3) Malinkoite cycle

Most parts of causing global warming are of humans as man-made things of comfort releasing such gasses. These gasses are greenhouse gasses includes methane (CH4),carbon dioxide(CO2),water vapors(H2O),ozone(O3) and nitrous oxides(NOX).most contribution among them is of water vapors. Methane comes from paddy rice fields as well as from dairy and milk production sources while NOX comes from vehicular emission as well as CO2 also come from different sources causing global warming. Sun rays inform different wavelengths including UV, Visible and infrared comes towards earth.as the sun rays fall on the earth some of light is absorbed by atmosphere about 30% ,25% is reflected back and 45%is get to the surface of the earth which after heating earth surface re-radiate to the atmosphere where they are captured in CO2 layer causing warming of the earth.in natural activities, these involve such as solar radiation as well as the volcanic eruption . Volcanic eruption contributes for the emission of many of  greenhouse gasses.

Positive and negative feedbacks are involved in global warming. Positive feedback is when global warming causes global warming like if more temperature more evaporation will occur causing more global warming as water vapor is a greenhouse gas. But negative feedback is when global warming causes cooling instead of warming.as more evaporation more cloud penetration, less penetration of sunlight.one of the example of positive feedback is polar amplification when ice is melted due to high temperature and albedo become less so warming occurs. Due to this whole climate of an overall globe is changed. Weather patterns have changed now. We can observe it now recent year as a temperature is relatively than previous years. Heat wave in Karachi was also observed bringing about drastic changes.

Effects of such weather pattern and climatic variations are shifting of an ecosystem as species adapted to live in less altitude having a normal cold now due to warming are compelled to shift at more latitudes . Species which are unable to survive live in these conditions are becoming extinct such as polar bears and gullies mots.Change in agricultural production also occur as the weather is changed therefore crops will get affected from it.For this, we need to introduce GM crops. Sea level will decrease as ice will get melted due to warming so sea level  will decrease.one of the biggest examples are of Antarctica which central ice cap is growing as in mid there is more temperature as compared to poles, therefore, more snow falling in the center than poles. Ice cap of the northern hemisphere has also decreased up to 10.7% since the 1970s.Greenland ice sheet has doubled since 1998.human health effects are that they are suffering from cardiac, respiratory as well as death. Not only humans but plants and animals are also suffering from it.so we need to have control on this. This can be done by two ways either we mitigate  by signing international agreements and limit our emissions or learn to live in such conditions.so it’s our responsibility as a citizen to protect our environment planting more trees reducing emissions of harmful gasses etc.