Is air pollution correlated with climate change?

"Correlation does not imply causation" but can reveal a common cause. Air pollution can be linked to climate change, which leads to the question - by reducing air pollution can you mitigate climate change?

Growing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been directly linked to climate change and the warming of the planet in recent decades. On the other hand, increasing air pollution has become yet another global issue with severe consequences for the environment, health and quality of life. The main substances in air pollution are nitrogen dioxide and airborne particulates whilst the most worrisome greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide.

Since the main substances of concern in these two problems are different, one might assume they are separate and unrelated, and need to be tackled in different ways. However, a closer look at the below shows a strong correlation between the two:

  • common substances
  • common contributory sources
  • common trends
  • causal links based

All based on data gathered over the last 60 years.

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