Car pollution which is caused by the gases that they emit to the environment is believed to have both long and short-term effects on human health and the environment at large. This study aims to show how the engine is affecting the environment through the emission of dangerous gases and other related chemical compounds and how they contribute to global warming. One of the solutions that will be mainly discussed is the use of hybrid cars because they emit a very minimum amount of gases to the surroundings. In the literature review, more examples will be discussed to show how these problem has been solved in other places that experiences a problem with car pollution especially the developed countries like U.S.A and China, just to mention a few. At the end of the discussion, the reader’s analysis of the effects and solutions will be provided to give the reader a clear understanding of the topic.
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Early before industrialization, the earth still experienced high temperatures that were not destructive to the environment. The increase in temperature was brought by natural causes, but in the current world, it is due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which occurs due to human activities. These gases destroy the ozone layer that protects the earth against the U.V rays thus making the sun heat the surface directly. Where it not for the greenhouse gases, the land would be very cold and covered by ice, but excess fossil fuel such as gasoline and diesel has caused an abnormal increase in temperature. Car pollution is becoming a big problem that is affecting air, soil, water quality and also harming human health. The diesel engine is known to emit particulate matters which are airborne particles of soot and metal that are very dangerous in cause skin irritation, eyes and the long run can cause lungs problems.
A diesel engine exhaust contains small carbonaceous particles and a large percentage of chemicals that are adsorbed onto those particles while others are just present as vapor. The engine is a public concern because these particles cause pollution that affects the environment and also human health at large. The most affected countries are the developed countries like Japan due to the high number of cars that are manufactured in that nation (Urbaniak et al., 2014). Studies have shown that the citizens of those countries are in great danger of suffering from global warming and related health effects which include: skin irritation, eye irritation, lung problem, and other chronic infection which are caused due to the inhalation of toxic gases which are released by the vehicles. According to UNHCR, if immediate actions are not taken by the government, the nation will suffer significant losses because the rate of global warming is increasing at a high rate affecting even the neighboring countries (Yilmaz & Krein, 2013). This means that more people will die due to infections while the economy will decline because the agricultural sector, industrial and other sectors are going to be affected in one way by the effects of engine emission.
Megacities such as Bangkok, Cairo, Delhi, and Mexico exceed those in other cities in the industrialized nations in the whole world. Epidemiological studies which are done in these towns show that air pollution which is caused by the transport industry accounts for about 10% of the deaths in those countries. Studies show that these countries are losing a lot of billions in medical costs and also in the production industry because the sick people cannot be able to work any longer (Urbaniak et al., 2014). The conventional air pollutants which were reported from those cities include: Lead aerosol from the combustion of leaded gasoline and carbon monoxide from the gasoline vehicles. Photochemical smog is produced by the volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide in the presence of sunlight where the motor vehicle emissions were identified as the significant sources of nitrogen oxide and the volatile organic compounds. There were also other particles but the mentioned ones were the major ones in those cities. Gasoline vehicles have been reported to be the leading sources of lead aerosols and carbon monoxide while on the other hand, diesel vehicles are the primary sources of respirable particulate matter (Tolley, & Turton, 2014).
A recent study which was done by the students from the University of Toronto shows that 25% of the vehicles that they measured were producing more than 90% of the total traffic-related air pollution. According to those students, carbon IV oxide was the primary pollutant that is very much known to have a high impact on the current threat of climate change (Tolley, & Turton, 2014). Though, the car also emits other pollutants which are associated with lung cancer, respiratory infections, and heart disease. The researchers had focused on measuring this type of pollutants where they found out that only a quarter of all the cars in that area were producing fewer pollutants. The owners of the vehicles are very much aware of the pollution associated with the use of their cars, but they complained that they could not afford to purchase the cars which are environmentally friendly because they are expensive (Montazeri-Gh, & Mahmoud, 2015). The government of Toronto is also to be blamed for not taking immediate actions to remove the roadworthy vehicles from the road because they are the dominant emitters of greenhouse gases.
Wang was among the researcher, and he said that besides the use of the old vehicles, driving behavior could also have massive impacts on the pollution where the drivers or the owners of the cars are supposed to make sure that their vehicles are regularly maintained. Modifying the driving behaviors, keeping the vehicles with regular oil changes, and choosing to use newer cars that have good gas mileage all affect air quality. When you use a fuel-efficient car, it is friendly to the environment because it means that you will be cycling less gas through the engine which will also be emitting fewer gases (Montazeri-Gh, & Mahmoud, 2015). The best solution which the Toronto University students gave was the use of electric vehicles which will ultimately reduce emissions by a significant percentage. The main problem with this new technology is that the cars are costly and limited due to their high prices where only a few people can purchase them. Another limitation is that they cannot operate in remote areas where there is no electricity (Lin & Xie, 2014).
The world is aware of the current problem of global warming, and According to NASA, the temperatures have been increasing since 2000, and if something is not done urgently, the future generation will suffer much. Apart from engine emissions, there are also other causes of global warming where a small percentage is from the natural causes and the most significant percentage from human activities which are the primary causes of global warming (Lin & Xie, 2014). Deforestation has increased which means that the carbon IV oxide which is released to the environment cannot be used up by the trees through the process of photosynthesis and thus it is contained in the atmosphere. Agriculture has also contributed significantly to global warming because the livestock is known to produce methane gas which is a greenhouse gas and some of the fertilizers which are used in the farms contain nitrous oxide (Cook et al., 2013). Another primary cause is brought by the industries that release sulfur, hydrofluorocarbon, chlorofluorocarbon, and other greenhouse gases including the burning of fossil fuel which releases the most significant percentage of Co2 to the atmosphere.
Different solutions to the environmental effects of the standard car engine have been identified which includes: the use of hybrid cars, use of bicycles instead of cars, minimizing the use of public means for transport, use of electric cars, and turning off the engine when you are not using the car. Also, Proper maintenance of the car and using the public means of transport rather than the private to reduce the amount of the pollutants being emitted into the environment (Zhao et al., 2014). There are so many solutions that have been identified, but the problem is that people are still ignorant and that is the reason why we are having problems with global warming.
Discussion and analysis
From the literature review above, I have discussed the effects of the typical car engine and some of the solutions which can be employed to reduce these impacts (Zhao et al., 2014). We found that the use of a hybrid car is among the best solutions which I will analyze in this section. A hybrid car is a car that uses two or more engines such as an electric motor and a conventional engine where the electricity engine power the car at a lower speed while the other engine power it at high speed. An example of a hybrid car is Toyota Prius, and civic where not only conserves the fuel but also produces minimum Co2. These cars were discovered in the 1900s, but they have recently started to become more popular, but just a few people can use them due to lack of knowledge. These types of vehicles are best defined as cars that have an engine that can switch between fossil fuel and alternative fuel sources. The main problem is that these cars can only be found in developed countries which means that the developing countries are left much behind when technology is concerned. There is clear evidence that the less developed nations do not pollute the environment as far as the advanced ones do, but there is a need for them to limit their pollution also.
These cars have several advantages, and the first one that I will talk about is that they are environmentally friendly. This has been reported to be the main advantage of hybrid cars as compared to gasoline cars because it runs cleaner and has a better gas mileage which makes them better than the others. This is because the emission of Co2 is reduced and also other particulate matters which are harmful to the environment and the health of the people. The fact that it uses the twin-powered engine is also a way of ensuring that speed is controlled and even it cuts the consumption of the fuel and saves energy at large. There are also financial and economic benefits that are derived from the use of this type of car. Even though they are expensive to purchase, the maintenance cost is meager because less amount of money is spent on fuel and car services. The whole country also benefits at large because the cases of pollution and health problems are reduced, and the government saves more money which could have been used for medicine. The production will also be high because the citizen is healthy and ready to work thus making high output (Yilmaz & Krein, 2013).
There is less dependency on fossil fuel where a hybrid car is cleaner and requires less fuel to run which means that there will be fewer emissions and minimum dependence on fossil fuels which are the primary pollutant in the transport industry. On the other hand, the industries will be forced to reduce the price of gasoline due to a low demand created by the new technology. These cars are also made from very light materials which means that less energy is required to run the cars because the engine is too small and lighter (Wong, 2016).
Despite having the above advantages, there are also a few disadvantages that are associated with the use of hybrid cars. There are very expensive to buy because they cost around$5000 and$ 10000 higher than the standard engine cars. To use these cards, you have to know how to drive them which requires some training also. They cannot just be used by regular drivers because they have been designed in an entirely different way compared to regular vehicles. They also require proper handling when using them because, in case of any damage, they cannot be repaired by the mechanics that fix the other cars. The last limitation that I will talk about is the presence of high voltage in batteries where in case of an accident, the high occurrence of the batteries which are found inside the car can be hazardous and cause more harm (Waag, Fleischer, & Sauer, 2014).
Even though the earth has dramatically been destroyed by human activities, it is not too late to change. Countries like China and America are among the top pollutants due to the number of industries found in those countries and the high economic growth rate. Environmental organizations such as UNFCCC need to come up with new policies which could help in fighting against global warming before it is too late. If the solutions that I have provided could be strictly observed, this threat of global warming can reduce in a significant way though it will take time because a lot of ozone destruction has already occurred. The price of hybrid cars should be lowered to encourage more people to purchase them. The industries need to look for new ways of producing energy apart from the burning of fossil fuels which is the most significant contributor to global warming. The use of renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind energy can be introduced. The transport industry needs to present green transportation which will reduce the emission of carbon (Rezai et al., 2016).
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