Global Air Pollution
We have already seen in the article Air Quality and its Effect Upon Health how air pollution can have a significant detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of virtually every living organism on the planet. This is because they rely on the intake of gases from the surrounding air, which means if the air contains high levels of pollution and contaminants they will inhale or absorb these into their systems, which can result in illness, reduced growth rates or death ultimately.
So obviously the effect of local businesses and the amount of pollution they give out and release into the air will play a major part in the composition of the nearby air. However, air pollution can also be influenced on a global scale.
Material blowing in the atmosphere does not recognise international borders, and so pollution produced by the cars, homes and factories in one country can end up drifting across into their neighbour's airspace, affecting the health of their inhabitants.
Even natural events can have a considerable impact upon the quality of the air. Volcanoes which spew out millions of tonnes of smoke and material into the atmosphere can not only disrupt aircraft travel, but can also cause respiratory problems for people on the ground and block out sunlight so that less makes its way down to plants. This material can also drift in the atmosphere across to other countries nearby, not just affecting the country in which the volcano is located.
The cumulative effects of pollution from individual countries can affect the planet as a whole. Climate change which causes average temperatures to rise and influences the jet stream will affect the weather and crop growing potential of every nation. The melting of polar ice caps will cause global sea levels to rise and result in flooding to low-lying coastal regions of countries all over the world. It is therefore in every country's interests to try and reduce air pollution for their own benefit as well as that of their fellow nations.