The cost of reducing environmental risks to human health is great, but the cost of the risks themselves are even greater, in illness, lost productivity, and mortality. This truth makes it very important to weigh the value and effectiveness of mitigation strategies aimed at environmental challenges.
Write a 4-5 page paper using the following instructions:
Select and research a specific environmental challenge resulting from climate change. Explain the characteristics of the environmental challenge, including its geographic scope, key stakeholders, economic costs, and health impacts.
Explain how climate change has created or worsened this environmental challenge. Support your explanation with references.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation efforts by comparing two examples related to this environmental challenge.
- Use at least four sources to support your writing. Choose sources that are credible, relevant, and appropriate. Cite each source listed on your source page at least one time within your assignment. For help with research, writing, and citation, access the library or review library guides.
- This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards (SWS). The library is your home for SWS assistance, including citations and formatting. Please refer to the Library site for all support. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
- The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Evaluate sources of environmental risk from energy production, manufacturing, and food production for their impact on population health.
Assess strategies used to mitigate the negative effects of environmental hazards on population health.
Expert Solution Preview
To answer this assignment content, it is important to select a specific environmental challenge resulting from climate change and critically evaluate its characteristics, impacts, and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts. The selected environmental challenge will provide a basis for further analysis and discussion. In this case, I will choose the environmental challenge of air pollution resulting from climate change.
1. Environmental Challenge:
Air pollution resulting from climate change is a significant environmental challenge that affects both developed and developing countries. It is characterized by the increasing concentration of harmful pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), in the atmosphere. This challenge has a global geographic scope, with urban areas and industrial centers being particularly affected. The key stakeholders involved in addressing this challenge include government agencies, environmental organizations, industries, healthcare professionals, and the general public.
The economic costs associated with air pollution are substantial. It leads to increased healthcare expenses due to the higher prevalence of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, air pollution affects productivity, as individuals exposed to polluted air may experience reduced work performance and increased absenteeism. Moreover, air pollution can negatively impact tourism and other sectors that heavily rely on clean air.
From a health perspective, air pollution has various detrimental effects. It is linked to an increased risk of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Long-term exposure to air pollutants also raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, air pollution contributes to the development and exacerbation of allergies, lung cancer, and even adverse pregnancy outcomes.
2. Impact of Climate Change on Air Pollution:
Climate change exacerbates the environmental challenge of air pollution in several ways. First, rising temperatures can enhance the formation of ground-level ozone, a harmful pollutant that results from the reactions between NOx and VOCs in the presence of sunlight. Higher temperatures also lead to increased biogenic emissions, such as those from trees and plants, which can contribute to secondary organic aerosol formation.
Furthermore, changing weather patterns due to climate change can affect air pollution dispersion and transport. For example, extreme weather events like heatwaves and stagnant air masses can trap pollutants in certain areas, leading to severe episodes of smog and poor air quality. Additionally, alterations in precipitation patterns can influence the deposition of pollutants, impacting air quality in both urban and rural areas.
3. Evaluation of Mitigation Efforts:
To evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation efforts, I will compare two examples related to the environmental challenge of air pollution resulting from climate change.
Example 1: Implementation of Renewable Energy Sources
The increased use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, can significantly contribute to reducing air pollution. By substituting fossil fuel-based energy production methods, renewable energy mitigates the emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Studies have demonstrated the positive impact of renewable energy adoption on air quality, leading to a decrease in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Example 2: Implementation of Emission Control Technologies
Governments and industries can employ emission control technologies, such as catalytic converters and flue gas desulfurization systems, to mitigate air pollution. These technologies effectively reduce the emission of pollutants from various sources like vehicles and power plants. Consequently, they contribute to improved air quality and reduced health risks associated with air pollution.
Both examples illustrate effective mitigation efforts that address air pollution resulting from climate change. The adoption of renewable energy sources and the implementation of emission control technologies play a crucial role in reducing pollutant emissions, protecting public health, and mitigating environmental challenges associated with air pollution.
In conclusion, the environmental challenge of air pollution resulting from climate change has significant geographic scope, economic costs, and health impacts. Climate change exacerbates this challenge by influencing pollutant formation, dispersion, and transport. However, effective mitigation efforts, such as the implementation of renewable energy sources and emission control technologies, have proven to be successful in reducing air pollution and its associated health risks. By implementing and expanding such strategies, stakeholders can further mitigate the adverse effects of air pollution on population health.