The atmosphere of the earth is overloaded with heat trapping carbon dioxide, which threatens to cause large-scale disruptions in climate with disastrous consequences. LiveScience reported on Sept. 22, 2013, "Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Prevent Premature Deaths."
There has been a growing awareness of the potential catastrophic consequences of global warming. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) notes that climate change is the single biggest environmental and humanitarian crisis which we are being confronted with in this era.
A new study has suggested that lowering the flow of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming could prevent up to 3 million premature deaths annually by the year 2100. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat which helps to warm the planet. The large increase in carbon dioxide levels due to human activity since the Industrial Revolution is now leading to an overall warming of the planet which is having impacts around the globe. Furthermore, the burning of fuel generates other air pollutants aside from just carbon dioxide, that are harmful to human health.
The researchers have found that aggressively lowering greenhouse gas emissions could help prevent 300,000 to 700,000 premature deaths annually by the year 2030. Two thirds of lives saved would be in China. By 2050, these reductions would actually prevent 800,000 to 1.8 million premature deaths annually. And by 2100, between 1.4 million and 3 million premature deaths a year could be avoided.
Jason West, an atmospheric scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has said, "We found reducing greenhouse gases could lead to a pretty striking reduction in air pollutants, and thus a pretty significant impact on lives saved." Clearly, stronger efforts by governments and citizens to clean up the air should be encouraged.