Megacities and climate change: a brief overview

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Folberth, Gerd A. ; Butler, Tim M. ; Collins, W. J. ; Rumbold, Steven T. (2015)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Journal: Environmental Pollution, volume 203, pages 235-242 (issn: 0269-7491)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.09.004
  • Subject: Toxicology | Pollution | Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cities have developed into the hotspots of human economic activity. From the appearance of the first cities in the Neolithic to 21st century metropolis their impact on the environment has always been apparent. With more people living in cities than in rural environments now it becomes crucial to understand these environmental impacts. With the immergence of megacities in the 20th century and their continued growth in both, population and economic power, the environmental impact has reached the global scale. In this paper we examine megacity impacts on atmospheric composition and climate. We present basic concepts, discuss various definitions of footprints, summarize research on megacity impacts and assess the impact of megacity emissions on air quality and on the climate at the regional to global scale. The intention and ambition of this paper is to give a comprehensive but brief overview of the science with regard to megacities and the environment.
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