Climate change is a topic that has become an even more serious conversation in the last decade since this shift in weather and temperature could affect and endanger our lives. In this section, we wish to see if asphalt is an effective factor in climate change or the atmosphere.
Asphalt on Air Pollution
Some researchers say that asphalt will soon become a higher source of air pollution than cars! As you know, the amount of pollution from vehicles has been decreasing since electric cars became public.
Asphalt or Bitumen reacts to high temperatures and releases toxic gas into the air; therefore, the danger of asphalt in sunny and hot places with minimum green lands is more significant than in other areas.
It is crucial to reduce the air pollution and control air quality for many reasons.
Asphalt GHG Emissions
The greenhouse gas emissions from the asphalt include carbon dioxide (CO2), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).
Asphalt on Climate Change
As mentioned, asphalt releases GHG into the air, and one of the most effective gases on climate change is Carbon Dioxide. This gas is one of the primary greenhouse gases that asphalt releases.
GHG affects the temperature and precipitation patterns, Increases the ocean’s temperatures, sea level, and acidity, melts sea ice, changes extreme weather events, and alters ecosystem characteristics. These changes can lead to drought, insect outbreaks, wildfires, decreased water, reduced agricultural products, heat-related diseases, and many more issues.
Controlling Asphalt Emissions
A researcher called Peeyush Khare and his colleagues investigated a sample of asphalt and subjected it to different temperatures to study the emissions in detail. They found that the total emission doubled when they changed the temperature from 40°C to 60°C.
Keeping the asphalt at a lower temperature can help reduce the toxic emissions into the atmosphere. One way could be increasing the plantation of trees, and another could be using cold mix asphalt. You can read more about it here.