In the report titled “2023 Air Quality and Climate Bulletin” published by WMO, the negative effects of heat waves were discussed.
The report explained that the heat combined with fires and desert dust adversely affects air quality, human health and the environment.
“Heat waves have triggered wildfires in the northwest of the United States, desert dust accompanied by the heatwave appears to lead to reduced air quality across Europe in 2022,” the WMO’s report states. statements were included.
In the report, which was noted that parks and wooded areas in cities improve air quality, it was stated that carbon dioxide could be absorbed and temperatures could decrease, and Brazil was cited as an example.
“Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves. This trend is expected to continue in the future. There is growing scientific consensus that heatwaves will increase the risk and severity of wildfires,” the report said. assessment shared.
“Air quality and climate are linked”
Emphasizing that climate change caused by greenhouse gases that trap heat from human activities is a long-term global threat, it was noted that air pollution will occur in a certain time frame and tend to be more local.
“Air quality and climate are linked, because the chemical species that affect both are interrelated. The substances responsible for climate change and air quality deterioration often emanate from the same sources. Changes in one inevitably lead to changes in the other,” the report said. expressions were used.
In the report, which stated that air quality is also effective on the ecosystem, it was noted that air pollutants such as nitrogen, sulfur and ozone are absorbed by plants, harm the environment and reduce crop yield.
“An unusual amount of desert dust has entered Europe and the Mediterranean”
In the report, which reminded of the hot summer period in Europe last year, it was reported that this situation caused both particulate matter and ground-level ozone concentrations to increase.
Reminding that in the second half of August, an unusual amount of desert dust entered Europe and the Mediterranean, the report stated that high levels of temperature and air pollution affect human health.
In basic food crops, it was emphasized that crop losses caused by ozone are between 4.4 percent and 12.4 percent on average globally, while losses of wheat and soybeans in India and China, which have important agricultural areas, are up to 15 to 30 percent.
In the report, which recorded that heat waves and dry weather conditions caused rapidly growing forest fires, it was shared that such situations cause an increase in aerosol emissions.
“Climate change and air quality cannot be handled separately”
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, whose views are included in the report, explained that heat waves worsen air quality with chain effects on human health, ecosystems, agriculture and daily life.
Taalas said, “Climate change and air quality cannot be considered separately. We must fight together to break this vicious circle. This report is about the year 2022, but the situation we witnessed this year is even more extreme. July, when intense heat was seen in many parts of the northern hemisphere and “It was the hottest month ever recorded. This trend continued into August.” used the phrases.
Reminding that forest fires affected a large part of Canada and caused tragic destruction and deaths in Hawaii, Taalas stated that this situation also caused loss of life and damage in the Mediterranean region.
Taalas also noted that wildfires have caused dangerous levels of air quality for millions of people.