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Interesting Air Quality Facts  In December 1952, London had a very bad 'smog' that lasted 5 days! Ozone gas (O3) is formed when nitrogen oxides react with sunlight.   Stratospheric Ozone, which is 10 to 15 miles above the earth's  surface, is essential to life because it filters harmful ultraviolet  radiation from the sun, reducing the amount reaching the earth's  surface. In cities where it is very sunny and very polluted,  photochemical smog can get so bad; children are  sometimes kept away from school!  Plants and trees use up carbon dioxide and therefore  help to 'clean' the air. Lichens can provide a simple and effective way of  establishing the degree of pollution in a given area VOC's stand for Volatile Organic Compounds and are air pollutants  that evaporate easily. As long ago as 1273, coal was first banned in London, because it  could be bad for your health. The word 'Bonfire' comes from the medieval term 'bone fire' - when  animal bones were burnt in the street. In one year, a car an produce 4 times its own weight in carbon  monoxide   Air Quality is now measured at over 25 locations in the Chiltern  District. Children are particularly vulnerable to air pollution - they breathe faster than adults and inhale more air per pound of body weight People travelling by car can be exposed to higher levels of pollution  than pedestrians or cyclists Cycling can reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce stress and  increase life expectancy   During term time, 20% of traffic in rush hour is related to children  being driven to school There are more than 26 million vehicles licensed to use UK roads.   It would take 20 of today's new cars to generate the same amount of  air pollution as one mid-1960s model car Service delivery vehicles spend 20-60% of their time idling, which  costs fleet owners a lot of money and gets them nowhere.   Added weight makes your car's engine run less efficiently, increasing  air pollution The sun is estimated to be 4.6 billion years old and 150 million km (on  average) away from Earth. Starting a car cold increases trip emissions compared to starting the  car warm.   For a 5-mile trip, starting the car cold generates about 30 percent  more nitrogen oxide and 60 percent more carbon monoxide than  starting the car when it is warm   Scientists predict that around the world, average temperatures could  increase by anywhere from 1.4 to 5.8 degrees Celsius over the next  100 years. To understand what this means think about the fact that  today's average global temperatures are only about 5 degrees warmer than they were during the last Ice Age about 18,000 to 20,000 years  ago Greenhouse gases are an important part of the Earth's atmosphere.  They help warm the Earth, without them the Earth's average  temperature would be -18 degrees Celsius! The problem is that the  burning of fossil fuels creates more greenhouse gases than the planet  needs.  
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