3.4 Air pollution

Fossil fuels pollute and destroy the air for millions of people.

Tall chimneys do not entail no air pollution. Photo: Å. Bjørke

Millions die every year because of air pollution.

According to the WHO, in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Almost four million die from ambient air pollution annually.  A more recent study from 2018, indicate that more than 8.7 million persons die from air pollution from fossil fuels.

‘Invisible killer’: fossil fuels caused 8.7m deaths globally in 2018, research finds  (2021)

Reducing air pollution could save millions of lives

In addition comes the enormous land areas polluted by oil spills as in Nigeria, Canada and Baku.

In the USA fracking pollutes incredible amounts of freshwater.

NASA quiz The air we breathe

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Home Chapter 3 3. Impacts
3.1 More water vapor
3.2 Sea level rise
3.3 Polar sea ice
3.4 Air pollution
3.5 Acidification
3.6 Health
3.7 Extreme weather
3.8 Economy
3.9 Refugees and conflicts
3.10 Glaciers
3.11 Tipping points
3.12 Biodiversity
3.13 Water
Chapter 4 4. Ecosystems