The effect of cars upon the climate


Driving a car is one of the most effective ways of increasing climate change, and the majority of the worlds population drive cars. Cars emit millions upon millions of tones of pollutants into the air each year, destroying the ozone layer further and further. In built up areas motor vehicles are the largest contributor to ground-level ozone which is a main component of smog.

Cars emit several pollutants that are classified as toxics, these toxins cause around 1500 cases of cancer in America alone each year.

The main pollutants that cars produce are

Hydrocarbons: These react with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight and elevated temperatures to form ground-level ozone. It ca cause eye irritation, coughing, wheezing, and shortness in breath and can even lead to permanent lung damage.

Nitrogen oxides: these also contribute to the formation of the ozone and contribute to the formation of acid rain and can lower the quality of water making it hazardous.

Carbon Monoxides; this is colourless odorless and a deadly gas. It reduces the flow of oxygen in the blood stream and can impair mental functions and visual perception. In more built up areas cars are responsible for over 90% of the carbon monoxide in the air.

The greatest amount of exhaust pollutants are released during a 'cold start' or while the car is still warming up. A car warms faster when on the move, so drivers have been advised to limit the time they allow their car to warm up while stationary.

Because of the developments in technology, car efficiency is always being improved, with faster more reliable hybrids available, more efficient petrol engines and quicker, quieter and cleaner diesels too. Buying a "greener" car couldn't be easier. Also by watching the way you drive, not having the engine constantly racing for example, with also add up gradually the miles per gallon. All in all, leading to a better future for us and our planet.