WMO Air Quality and Climate Bulletin No. 1 - September 2021

07 September 2021

This issue of the WMO Air Quality and Climate Bulletin provides an update on the current global distribution of particulate matter, highlighting the contributions of extreme wildfire events in the year 2020. 2020 was also notable for the spread of a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the respiratory illness known as COVID-19.

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About the series

Ongoing climate change, caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, is happening on a timescale of decades to centuries and is driving environmental changes worldwide. In contrast, the air pollution that occurs near the Earth’s surface happens on a timescale of days to weeks, and across spatial scales that range from local (for example, urban centres) to regional (such as the eastern United States of America, northern India or the Amazon).

Despite these wide‑ranging differences, air quality and climate change are strongly interconnected. The WMO Air Quality and Climate Bulletin reports annually on the state of air quality and its connections to climate change, reflecting on the geographical distribution of and changes in the levels of traditional pollutants.