Air Quality Sinks as Climate Change Accelerates – UNFCCC

by | Sep 7, 2022 | Climate Change

7 September 2022 (WMO press release) – An anticipated rise in the frequency, intensity and duration of heatwaves and an associated increase in wildfires this century is likely to worsen air quality, harming human health and ecosystems. The interaction between pollution and climate change will impose an additional “climate penalty” for hundreds of millions of people, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).The annual WMO Air Quality and Climate Bulletin reports on the state of air quality and its close interlinkages with climate change. The bulletin explores a range of possible air quality outcomes under high and low greenhouse gas emission scenarios.
The WMO Air Quality and Climate Bulletin 2022 focuses in particular on the impact of wildfire smoke in 2021. As in 2020, hot and dry conditions exacerbated the spread of wildfires across western North America and Siberia, producing widespread increases in particulate small matter ( PM2.5) levels harmful to health.
“As the globe warms, wildfires and associated air pollution are expected to increase, even under a low emissions scenario. In addition to human health impacts, this will also affect ecosystems as air pollutants settle from the atmosphere to Earth’s surface,” says WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.
“We have seen this in the heatwaves in Europe and China this year wh …

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