chapter  9
20 Pages

Air Pollution and Global Change

Air pollution, as well as other environmental disturbances, may be local, regional or global, depending on the area where its consequences are manifested. The air pollution is important for the biosphere because of the vital role of the atmosphere for the environmental equilibrium of the planet and for the organisms. On the other hand, the limited reversibility of the alterations in the chemical composition of the air is limited. This phenomenon is associated with the partial inability of the atmosphere to assimilate pollution because the self-purifying processes of the atmosphere are only carried out in physicochemical ways. The atmosphere does not contain the functions of an ecosystem, as do the sea or the soil, therefore there are no intricate systemic processes that could increase and accelerate the assimilating capacity. Especially important are the large-scale air pollution phenomena that have a global and non-reversible character, e.g. the increase of greenhouse gases concentrations or the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer.