Tropospheric Ozone Pollution, Agriculture, and Food Security

Tropospheric Ozone Pollution, Agriculture, and Food Security

Abhijit Sarkar (University of Gour Banga, India), Sambit Datta (University of Calcutta, India) and Pooja Singh (Banaras Hindu University, India)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1683-5.ch014
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Increasing population and unsustainable exploitation of nature and natural resources have made “food security” a burning issue in the 21st century. During the last 50 years, the global population has more than doubled, from 3 billion in 1959 to 6.7 billion in 2009. It is predicted that the human population will reach 8.7 - 11.3 billion by the year 2050. Growth in the global livestock industry has also been continuous over the last two decades. An almost 82% increase in future livestock is expected in developing countries within 2020, due to an expanding requirement for food of animal origin. Hence, the future demand of this increased human and livestock population will put enormous pressure on the agricultural sectors for providing sufficient food and fodder as well as income, employment and other essential ecosystem services. Therefore, a normal approach for any nation / region is to strengthen its agricultural production for meeting future demands and provide food security. Tropospheric ozone (O3), a secondary air pollutant and a major greenhouse gas, has already been recognized as a major component of predicted global climate change. Numerous studies have confirmed the negative impact of O3 on agricultural productivity throughout the world. The present chapter reviews the available literature, and catalogue the impact of this important gas pollutant on modern day agricultural production worldwide.
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Tropospheric Ozone Cycle: Formation, Deposition And Transport Of Ozone In Troposphere

Being a secondary pollutant in nature tropospheric O3 is generally formed by the photo-chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOX) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the presence of bright sunlight. Even, O3 also formed from the methane emitted from swamps and wetlands and some other primary pollutants through similar reactions; and through long range transport O3 travels huge distances and spreads over larger areas (Kondratyev & Varotsos, 2001; Varotsos et al., 2004). VOCs emission has not contributed significantly to increasing tropospheric O3 concentrations (Fiore et al., 2002).

The chemical reactions involved in tropospheric O3 formation are a series of complex cycles in which carbon-monoxide and VOCs are oxidized to water vapor and carbon dioxide. The oxidation occurs in carbon monoxide due to hydroxyl radical (OH·). The resultant hydrogen atom reacts rapidly with oxygen to give a per-oxy radical (HO2·).

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