Cause And Effect Of Air Pollution
Coastal cities such as San Francisco produce pollutants that then blow over the Coast Range into the Valley. This is the main reason why pollution builds up in the Valley during the summer months. Without any air movement to lift the pollution over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the pollution just builds up.
The growing population is also increasing the Valley’s pollution problems. Fresno County alone grew 16% from between 2000 and 2010 (Berg 2011). More people mean more homes, cars, and industry that all attribute to the pollution.
The weather is the main reason why pollution becomes so severe during the winter months. After a storm passes through, a layer of warm air follows behind it. This layer of warm air is known as the inversion layer, as it traps colder air beneath it. This cold air pocket fills in the valley, and the pollutants build up in the cool air, but cannot escape due to the high pressure of the warm air above it. The cool air layer grows through the night, reaching up to 3000 feet thick. Pollutants are trapped beneath the blanket of warmer air until the sun warms the cool air layer equalizing the temperature and allowing the inversion to break up and disperse (Clean Air Primer). This cycle can last for days, or even weeks. The only way the inversion layer can be dismantled is with the arrival of a storm, which brings with it enough wind to blow the pollutants …show more content…
A gas lawn mower also adds to the air pollution program in the central Valley. The program is called Clean Green Yard machines. Imagine how many lawn mowers and other gas equipment is used each day. The San Joaquin Air Pollution District offers residents a rebate to trade in their gas lawnmower for a non-polluting electric lawn mower (Clean Green).
For those who exercise, they can set a schedule for themselves to avoid bad air days. During the winter months, outside activities can be performed during the day. Activities must be avoided in early morning and in the evening to avoid high particulates. During the summer months, outside activities are best enjoyed in the early morning when the air is clean and in the evening when the sun has gone down and the air is cool. This will eliminate the risk of being exposed to high ozone levels (San Joaquin