The study was aimed at assessing the causes and effect of climate change to atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria. The survey research was used in this study to sample the opinion of respondents. This method involved random selection of respondent who were administered with questionnaires. The target population of the study comprised selected residents from selected areas in Abuja, Nigeria. The questionnaire administered was one hundred and ten (110) copies and one hundred copies retrieved which constitute the sample size. The descriptive and analytical approach was adopted using Chi-square to test and analyze the hypotheses earlier stated. The findings revealed that there is a significant effect of climate change on atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria and that there is a significant relationship between effects of climate change on atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria. It was therefore concluded from the findings that the threat of climate change and air pollution on the health of people is very obvious. This poses a great danger to the economy of the state resulting from people migrating to other places. Therefore it was recommended that Proper legislative frame work to regulate, control emissions and implementation with enforcement of these control measures should be encouraged. The government should proactively engage in massive tree planting that will help sanitize the environment.
- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Within the latest decade there has been a growing interest in the effects of climate change on the future air pollution levels. It is well known that the composition of the atmosphere will change due to changes in anthropogenic emissions. From climate modelling studies it is predicted that some meteorological parameters will change in the future both due to the natural variability and due to the man-made changes of the composition of the atmosphere. A general temperature increase is expected in the future [Houghton, 2001]. This temperature increase will affect many if not all other meteorological parameters and since the distribution of air pollution is highly dependent on the meteorology, it could be hypothesized, that the air pollution levels and distribution even with unchanged emissions will be changed in a warmer climate.
The importance of sustainability is geared towards development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability to also meet future needs and that is why all nations of the world are finding solutions to reduce the impact of climate change and air pollution in the environment. Climate change and air pollution are very important environmental problems facing nations and cities of the world. Climate change has widespread impacts on human and natural ecosystems across the globe. The US and other nations of the world are experiencing its impact but Africa has been considered to be the world’s most endangered region due to the tender or fragile nature of its ecosystem and economy [IPCC, 2007]. Climate change refers to a shift in the state of the climate that can be identified using statistical tests by changes in the mean or the variability of its properties that persists for an extended period typically in number of decades due to natural variability or as a result of human activities [IPCC, 2007]. Climate change alters the composition of the global atmosphere over comparable time periods [UNFCCC, 2007]. Thus, climate change describes the current trend toward higher average of global temperatures and accompanying environmental shifts such as rising sea levels and more severe storms, floods, droughts and heat waves [Glenn, 2019]. The phenomenon is basically is a statistically observed change in the climatic elements of a country or region over a period of time.
Air Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment. It is the presence of substances or particles in the air that pose danger, damage and disturbance to humans, flora as well as fauna. Air pollution results from degradation of air quality with negative effects on human health and the natural as well as built environment due to the introduction (by natural processes or human activities) into the atmosphere of substances in the form of gases and aerosols which have a direct primary pollutants or indirect secondary pollutants with resultant harmful effect [IPCC, 2014].The effects of gases emitted to the atmosphere is a problem that is facing all the nation of the world. Aerosols are known as suspension of airborne solid or liquid particles with a typical size between a few nanometers and 10μm that reside in the atmosphere for at least several hours [United Nations Environment Programme World Environment Day, 2019]. It may be of natural or anthropogenic origins and can influence climate in several ways: through the interactions that scatter and absorb radiation or through interactions with cloud microphysics and other cloud properties. Thus, it can occur through deposition on snow or ice-covered surfaces thereby altering their albedo and contributing to climate feedback [IPCC, 2014]. Atmospheric carbonaceous aerosols constitute a significant part of the atmospheric aerosols; while a large part of them consists of an organic material [Udayasoorian, Jayabalakrishnan, Suguna, Mukunda & Suresh, 2014].The carbonaceous atmospheric particulate matter consists of black carbon known as Elemental Carbon (EC) and a variety of organic compounds. Aerosol Black Carbon (BC), produced mainly due to incomplete combustion of fossil fuel or biomass is amongst the strongest contributors to the radioactive warming of the atmosphere [IPCC, 2007]. Findings showed that the current illegal artisanal refining of crude oil siphoned from pipelines crisscrossing the coastal areas of Port Harcourt is the reason for the incidence of soot in the lower troposphere of the city[Weli, 2014] [Ede and Edokpa, 2015]. Air pollution is a major environmental health problem affecting every nation of the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) guideline states that daily exposure to particulate matter PM2.5 per cubic meter of air should not exceed 25 micrograms, yet this figure is surpassed in many cities around the world [WHO, 2018]. Ambient outdoor air pollution in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide per year in 2016; this mortality is due to exposure to small particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2.5), which causes cardiovascular and respiratory disease and cancers [WHO, 2018]. Air becomes polluted when it carries gaseous and particulate matter at levels which they become objectionable; capable of causing discomfort, harm to man and his environment as well as his amenities .The impact of climate change, pollution on quality of air in Port Harcourt metropolis and surrounding towns as well as other parts of the Niger Delta have been studied by various scholars, who rank the region’s air quality amongst the top 10 most polluted regions in the world [SPDC, 2017; Oyegun, 2016; Sokari, 2016; Weli, 2014; Kuenzer, Van, Gessner & Dech, 2014; Ede and Edokpa, 2015] and revealed evidence of climate change in the city [Ajiere and Weli, 2018]. Meanwhile, the generation of other pollutants, such as Nitrogen Oxides (NO and NO2), Sulfur Oxides (SO2 and SO3) and particulate matter is the main reason the air is contaminated
Changes in climate affect air pollution by perturbing ventilation rates (wind speed, mixing depth, convection, frontal passages), precipitation scavenging, dry deposition, chemical production and loss rates, natural emissions, and background concentrations. The potential importance of this effect can be appreciated by considering the observed interannual variability in air quality. It is obvious that increasing human activities, especially greenhouse gas emissions are posing great environmental challenges that have resulted in loss of lives and destruction of properties in the state (Olowoporoku et al., 2012). The effects of NOx on the level of ozone pollution and the subsequent respiratory problem among children and adults in Nigeria have been reported by (Raheem and Adekola, 2011). The overall effects of air pollution on Abuja citizens and environments contribute to drag in the efforts for its most sustainable programs. Major sources of gas emission in Abuja are dump sites, open incinerators and power generators. The relationship between the air pollutants and the current climate change effects on Abuja need to be established in order to guide against future consequences.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Climate change and air pollution are closely related. Changes in the climate affect air quality through three pathways—via outdoor air pollution, aeroallergens, and indoor air pollution. The changing climate has modified weather patterns, which in turn have influenced the levels and location of outdoor air pollutants such as ground-level ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter. As well as driving climate change, the main cause of CO2 emissions – the extraction and burning of fossil fuels – is also a major source of air pollutants. What’s more, many air pollutants contribute to climate change by affecting the amount of incoming sunlight that is reflected or absorbed by the atmosphere, with some pollutants warming and others cooling the Earth. These short-lived climate-forcing pollutants (SLCPs) include methane, black carbon, ground-level ozone, and sulfate aerosols. They have significant impacts on the climate: black carbon and methane in particular are among the top contributors to global warming after CO2. At the same time, climate-driven changes in meteorology can also lead to changes in naturally occurring emissions that influence air quality (for example, wildfires, wind-blown dust, and emissions from vegetation). Over longer time scales, human responses to climate change may also affect the amount of energy that humans use, as well as how land is used and where people live. These changes would in turn modify emissions (depending on the fuel source) and thus further influence air quality. This research,therefore will examine the causes and effects of climate change to atmospheric pollution on the disastrous effects of these changes on the health of the general population of human beings in the Abuja, Nigeria
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the causes and effect of climate change to atmospheric pollution. Other general objectives of the study are:
- To examine the level of awareness of effect of climate change on atmospheric pollution
- To examine the causes and prevalence of climatic change in Abuja, Nigeria
- To examine the effects of climate change on atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria
- To examine the sources of atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria
- To examine sources of air pollution and its effect on the environment and human health
- To examine the relationship between effects of climate change and atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the level of awareness of effect of climate change on atmospheric pollution?
- What are the causes and prevalence of climatic change in Abuja, Nigeria?
- What are the effects of climate change on atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria?
- What are the sources of atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria?
- What are the sources of air pollution and its effect on the environment and human health?
- What is the relationship between effects of climate change and atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no effect of climate change on atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant effect of climate change on atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria.
H0: There is no significant relationship betweeneffect of climate change and atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship betweeneffect of climate change and atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria.
The findings of this study will be beneficial to government, residents of Abuja, farmers, environmental scientist and other researchers. The study will provide information on the perceived extent to which climate change has impacted on atmospheric pollution. The knowledge of the findings would help the government to make policies on how to check the effects of climate change on atmospheric pollution in Abuja and Nigeria in general. The study will provide information to residents of Abuja on adaptation strategies, which they could adapt to in such situations. One of the purposes of the study is to discover the suitable strategies for alleviating the impact of climate and atmospheric pollution. The study could be used as a resource material on climate change and its effect on atmospheric pollution for researchers who may be interested in researching on related topics. The research is equipped with the findings on the causes and effects of climate change on atmospheric pollution.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the causes and effect of climate change to atmospheric pollution in Abuja, Nigeria.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Climate Change:The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines climate change as a change in the state of the climate that can be identified by changes in the mean and / or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer.
Air Pollution: Air pollution is the presence of substances in the atmosphere that are harmful to the health of humans and other living beings, or cause damage to the climate or to materials. There are different types of air pollutants, such as gases, particulates, and biological molecules.
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