How did you like the story of Prof. Veerabhadran Ramanathan?
This page helps you review and deepen your understanding of the story. Some of the content is available only in this story guide.
[Target Audience: 10 years and older]
Q1: What is the best condition for the earth regarding greenhouse gases?
Q2: Which region's emission of pollutants does Professor Ramanathan think cause global air pollution?
Air pollutants may move to different regions from where they are emitted.
Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are substances that remain in the air for a short period of time after being emitted, and have a disproportionately negative influence on air pollution and global warming.
Let's learn more about the SLCPs that were mentioned in the story of Professor Ramanathan, and the reasons why SLCPs should be reduced.
(1) Preventing global warming
The impact of SLCPs on global warming is 25 to 2,000 times greater than the same amount of carbon dioxide. It is said that SLCPs account for almost half the global warming.
However, SLCPs remain in the air for a relatively short period of time (a few days to 10 years), so if we can drastically reduce SLCPs, they will soon begin to disappear from the air. In other words, reducing SLCPs will quickly lead to the reduction in their influence on global warming.
(2) Protecting human health
SLCPs not only cause global warming, but they also harm our health. A few million people die prematurely every year due to air pollution. Females, children, the elderly, and the poor are especially affected by SLCPs.
(3) Protecting food security
SLCPs is deeply related to food security because global warming caused by SLCPs change weather patterns and increase natural disasters, which reduces crop yields. Furthermore, black carbon particles, one of the SLCPs, blocks sunlight, which interferes with the growth of major crops such as rice, corn, and wheat.
(4) Economic merits
SLCPs harm the economy by worsening public health, ecosystems, and agricultural productivity. On the other hand, reducing SLCPs brings not only direct economic positive effects such as the creation of employment and an increase in household income, but also indirect economic positive effects such as the improvement of public health, the elimination of poverty and inequality, and a reduction in the impact of climate change.
Why we need to act now