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The Air We Breathe

Here's a cross section of the Troposphere or rather, two starkly different options of the air we can choose to breathe. I lie. We can't choose to breathe individually but can make a collective choice, as a race, to breathe.  Tropos, a greek term meaning 'turn or change', characterises the layer of the atmosphere where the dynamic nature of atmospheric gases and weather constantly bring variations across the planet. It exists between 7-10 km depending on the latitude and is 'the layer we call home', according to NASA.

However, with the toxic mix of pollutants we have become champions at releasing into the atmosphere, we pose a great risk not only to our own species but to other species that inhabit the troposphere.

The lower level of the image comprises of dust, haze, suspended particulate matter, aerosols, toxic fumes, asthma, bronchitis, COPD, 7 million deaths annually.

The upper level of the image, not so much. Fair weather clouds, clean crisp air is more like it.

Given that by a complete bizarre turn of events, we've had a chance to witness what breathing clean air can feel like (if we don't go about our daily lives senselessly), does this make you want to change your ways, break those habits, adapt your lifestyle for a shot at cleaner air?

According to the WHO, 9 out of 10 people on this planet breathe polluted air. Can we each do our bit to change that?

Sources: NASA, UNEP,, WHO


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