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Heat inversions and adverse effects on the environment and health

Heat inversions are pollutants that cause pollutants to be trapped in the air. This process causes the concentration of pollutants to increase, causing the quality of the air environment in the layer near the soil surface to decrease, affecting human health. So, what is the cause that the inversion of heat appears? What effects does it have on the environment and human health? To answer the above questions, let’s find out the information below right away.

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What is heat inversions?

In meteorology, heat inversions is a phenomenon of atmospheric property change with altered altitude. Normally, the atmospheric temperature decreases with increasing altitude. In heat paradox, hot air is kept above cold air; The normal relationship between temperature and altitude is reversed.

To make it easier to understand, the heat inverse is the temperature of the air layers as opposed to normal. In the atmosphere, temperature is normally reduced with altitude, meaning that the cooler it gets higher. However, at some point in the year the reverse phenomenon occurs. It is when the higher the air, the higher the temperature.

Heat inversions usually appear in the middle of autumn around September, October, … every year. At the onset of cold air coming in from the North. Because the cold air is still thin at this time. So they sink and only lower the temperature in the lower layers. In contrast, the upper floors are less cloudy and still sunny, so the temperature is higher. Hence the heat inversion phenomenon occurs.

Inverse phenomenon causes the air in the urban areas to not circulate

Inverse phenomenon causes the air in the urban areas to not circulate

Types of heat inversions

The intensity and extent of the impact from the phenomenon to the degree of air pollution also depends on whether the heat inversion occurs high above (permanent inversion) or low (surface inversion).

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Permanent thermal inversion

The permanent heat inversion is the heat inversion that occurs in the stratosphere. This is an upper layer that covers the troposphere. It stretches between 17km and 50km from the ground. Therefore, you cannot use the naked eye to notice this degree of thermal paradox.

However, the effects of the permanent heat inversion are extremely severe. Because the stratosphere covers our own living space. As a result, heat inversions that occur in the stratosphere have a lasting effect on the atmosphere around the globe.

Surface heat inversions

Surface heat adversity occurs directly on the earth’s surface. Therefore, we can easily see it with the naked eye. At the same time it also has a direct impact on the life and health of everyone.

During days of heat inversion, the air layer below is colder. They are trapped underground with all pollutants. By the end of the morning, the sun could not heat up the air below. This air layer can then move up high, carrying polluted smoke and dust. Therefore, during days of surface heat paradox, you find your view covered by a thick dust screen.

During this time, the dust concentration is fine PM 2.5 and AQI indicators hit high or very high. However, the effects of air pollution caused by this phenomenon appear only for a short period of time. And only local – ie in certain areas.

Surface heat adversity directly affects human health

Effect of heat inversions

Heat inversions cause more and more air pollution

Smoke from the city

In big cities, air pollution is always an important issue that needs to be addressed. Especially at times when heat inversions occur. Because this is one of the phenomena that have a great effect on air pollution. Many studies in Hanoi have shown that the heat inversion phenomenon is one of the main causes for the sudden increase in the concentration of pollutants (especially PM 2.5 dust).

Because normally, when the surface air layer is warmer than the upper air layer. Then this air layer can be easily spread up high and carry pollutants out. However, when heat inversion occurs, the layer of cold air below cannot dissipate. Accordingly, pollutants and dirt are trapped on the surface of the earth. Therefore, it will form a mist-like mist covering the area where the phenomenon occurs.

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Thus, surface heat paradox is a phenomenon detrimental to our life. Because it causes temporary air pollution.

Heat inversions make air pollution more serious

Heat inversions make air pollution more serious

Coincides with the time of harvest

In addition, heat inversions usually occur during the suburban harvest time. But heat inversions prevent the air from circulating and spreading up high. Therefore, the accumulated dirt increases the level of pollution at that time.

In Vietnam, layers of inversion of heat will normally appear before winter and in the spring. Especially when the cold air coming down from the North begins. Because cold air is just a thin layer, it only cools the temperatures downwards. Then the cold lower layer temperature will be lower than the upper temperature causing inversion of heat.

In addition, heat inversions can lead to bad weather events. Because a heat stroke can also disrupt atmospheric convection like a “cap”. If the lid is broken, convection of the moisture in the air can turn into violent thunderstorms. At the same time, heat inversions can also cause ice and rain in cold climates, …

The heat paradox that occurs at the same time as the harvest season is one of the causes of the air drop

The heat paradox that occurs at the same time as the harvest season is one of the causes of the air drop

Affect human health

In developing countries, many studies have shown that human health is affected by exposure to polluted air in the days of increasing heat inversity in recent years. Heat paradox also increases acute respiratory disease.

In which, the elderly and children are sensitive groups. Highly affected for the deterioration of air quality. Especially with diseases of the respiratory tract, diseases related to the heart. The period of time that the heat inversion phenomenon occurs is the period during which the air quality is assessed as seriously polluted. It is the main cause of increasing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in the community.

Heat inversions can affect health, easily cause respiratory and eye diseases. Therefore, when this phenomenon appears, people and especially children, the elderly, pregnant women, … limit going outside, participating in traffic and outdoor activities. At the same time should also limit the use of rainwater, avoid outdoor equipment, food ….

> See also: Air pollution’s serious health effects

Hazardous effects of fine dust PM 2.5 on health

Hazardous effects of fine dust PM 2.5 on health

Measures to overcome air pollution caused by inversions

For society

Heat paradox is a common and unavoidable weather phenomenon. This is just one of the secondary causes of air pollution in cities. Therefore, we cannot blame air pollution for this phenomenon. Socio-economic activities: traffic, construction, sanitation, environment, crowded population,… These are the main actors. Causing an increase in the current air pollutant composition in urban areas. The thermal paradox that occurs in the context of an increase in the concentration of air pollutants will make the pollution worse.

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To overcome air pollution caused by heat inversions. Every citizen should increase the use of public transport. At the same time, the state should also study solutions to limit private vehicles going into the inner city. In addition, it is to encourage the production and use of environmentally friendly means of transport.

In addition, take measures to minimize industrial waste sources in urban areas. Such as relocating industrial establishments in the inner city to industrial zones in the suburbs. Minimize waste from construction activities. Minimize waste from the street surface.

Along with these activities are improving road surface hygiene, using vacuum trucks, watering. Strengthen inspection and examination of air pollutants. Especially the means of transport. Improve monitoring capacity. Investing in synchronous system of equipment and software for air quality modeling. Strengthen communication and disclosure of air quality information to the community.

For individuals

For each individual, especially children, the elderly, … especially those with a history of respiratory system should not go out at this time. Need a mask that ensures quality and is resistant to PM2.5 (fine dust) dust. At the same time install the systems air purifier to protect the health of themselves and the whole family.

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Surface heat inversions, or heat inversions, have a direct effect on life. The surface air layer is colder than the upper air layer, preventing contaminants from dispersing. Instead, these pollutants are trapped low, causing a thin mist that surrounds the city. You should limit going out during these days, and especially protect yourself if you must join traffic.

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