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Dust in the air, El Niño and other phenomena. A recipe for big trouble

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Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore estimate that there are more premature deaths related to poor air quality, among others, due to phenomena such as El Niño, forest fires or the Indian Ocean Dipole. The results of their work were published on the website on Monday Environment International.

Harmful dust has helpers

It persists in polluted air suspended dust PM 2.5. Its particles are so small that they can enter the human bloodstream, causing serious diseases. This dust comes from industrial emissions, car exhaust pipes or is released by forest fires.

Singaporean scientists say that between 1980 and 2020, particulate matter contributed to the premature death of about 135 million people.

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Moreover, according to researchers, it is increasing due to global warming weather phenomena further enhance the harmful effects of air pollution. The study shows that they increase the number of deaths by 14%.

It is worst in Asia

Scientists argue in the publication that the worst situation in this respect occurs in Asia. According to them, on the largest continent Earth “the highest number of premature deaths associated with PM 2.5 particulate matter pollution” is recorded.

In the decades described, it was supposed to die because of it over 98 million people – mainly in China and w India. These are the next countries with a high number of deaths of this type Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia i Japan. There were deaths in each of these countries from 2 to 5 million people.

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that atmospheric pollution, combined with that produced by households, contributes to 6.7 million premature deaths worldwide each year.

El Niño and company amplify the harmful effect

Our findings show that changes in climate patterns could make air pollution even worse, said the head of the research group, Prof. Steve Yim.

– When certain climatic phenomena occur, such as The boy, the level of air pollution is increasing. This means that more people may die prematurely from PM 2.5 dust, the scientist added.

The publication shows that not only can contribute to increasing air pollution The boybut also phenomena such as Indian Ocean Dipole (temperature changes between the eastern and western parts of this ocean) i North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

In their work, scientists from Singapore used satellite data from NASA, documenting the level of pollution in the Earth's atmosphere. They then compared this to death statistics that could be associated with it.

It is worth emphasizing that scientists focused on examining the impact that only “ordinary” climatic phenomena have on the degree of air pollution. Prof. Yim said that in the future, scientists also plan to study the impact of increasing climate change.

Source: AFP, Environment International

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