A Time of Need

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The term "smog" was first used in London during the early 1900's to describe the combination of smoke and fog. What we typically call "smog" today is a mixture of pollutants but is primarily made up of ground-level ozone. Ozone can be beneficial or harmful depending on its location. The ozone located high above the Earth in the stratosphere protects human health and the environment, but ground-level ozone is responsible for the choking, coughing, and stinging eyes associated with smog. Smog-forming pollutants come from many sources, such as automobile exhausts, power plants, factories, and many consumer products, including paints, hair spray, charcoal starter fluid, solvents, and even plastic popcorn packaging. In typical urban areas, at least half of the smog precursors come from cars, buses, trucks, and boats. Major smog occurrences often are linked to heavy motor vehicle traffic, high temperatures, sunshine, and calm winds. Weather and geography affect the location and severity of smog. Because temperature regulates the length of time it takes for smog to form, smog can form faster and be more severe on a hot and sunny day. Smog causes health problems such as difficulty in breathing, asthma, reduced resistance to lung infections and colds, and eye irritation. Climate change, our planet is surrounded by a blanket of gases which keeps the surface of the earth warm and able to sustain life. This blanket is getting thicker, trapping in heat as we release greenhouse gases by burning fossil fuels for energy. By trapping more of the sun’s heat the earth’s temperature is starting to rise. This phenomenon is known as Global Warming. Scientific research indicates that, because of climate change, we may experience more intense and more frequent extreme weather events. The gradual increase in temperature has major implications for ecosystems, growing seasons, animals and their delicate habitats. One of the main causes for climate change is greenhouse effect. There are...
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