Car pollution is one of the main sources of hazardous airborne particles in the modern world. The toxic substances from car emissions include carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbon fuel, and nitrogen oxides, according to the American Chemical Society.
Scientists have considered for a long time that these chemical compounds damage the atmosphere and even cause respiratory health problems.
Now, a new study led by researchers in the United Kingdom showed that high ozone levels from vehicle pollution prevent bees from finding flowers for pollination.
In particular, the researchers determined ozone destroys the scent of flowers, which makes it hard for the insect pollinator to search for flowers.
The findings are crucial since the process of pollination is significant not only in the ecosystem but also in agriculture and the economy.
Ozone Affects Bee Pollination
(Photo : Photo by Hooman R. on Unsplash)
The University of Birmingham research released on Thursday, September 28, shows the danger caused by high ozone levels to bee pollination.
The research team found the toxic compound reduces the distance a flower scent spreads, resulting in fewer bee visitors.
The team acknowledged other studies in the field and found that the number of bee visitors to flowers decreased by 50% due to pollution.
According to the the findings, the researchers were surprised to find the extent of pollution, which was overlooked in previous reports.
Based on the unprecedented discovery, the research explains ozone interferes with the chemistry of the flower’s scent. These atmospheric and ecological phenomena intensify as ozone levels increase, leading to the collapse of the spreading plume.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse gas emissions come from various human activities and industrial processes.
However, some of these emissions are caused by pollution from a typical passenger vehicle. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a common passenger vehicle emits approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Since carbon dioxide is one of the climate-damaging greenhouse gases, the increasing number of fuel or gas-dependent vehicles also means that more harmful chemical compounds will go into the atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect and warming of the planet due to trapped solar heat.
While it is almost impossible to calculate the exact rate of car pollution in relation to greenhouse gases, the EPA said that the average passenger vehicle emits around 400 grams of carbon dioxide per mile.
Nevertheless, emissions still vary depending on the car model or type of fuel.
There is growing evidence that car pollution is a significant contributor to the acceleration of the greenhouse effect, resulting in the worsening of climate change and global warming.
This pollution is rampant in industrial countries or urban areas.
According to the European Parliament, 71.7% of carbon emissions in Europe since 1990 come from road transportation, which includes different vehicles like cars, heavy-duty trucks, light-duty trucks, and motorcycles.
Water navigation, civil aviation, and railways also contribute to pollution.
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