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How Does Your Academic Major Relate to Climate Change? by City Tech Blogger Nathan Persaud

As mechanical engineering undergraduates, we are taught to constantly innovate, invent, and improve products. One of the biggest challenges we face is making old technologies compliant with federal environmental regulations. Most old manufacturing technologies used fossil fuels to create and generate power. And one of the controversial issues currently is air pollution. Air pollution today is mainly caused by man. Many inventions and weather patterns affect the quality of the air we breathe.

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Air pollution occurs when warm air masses in the upper atmosphere stagnate over cold air masses near the surface. This eliminates any exchange in air mass or momentum. Air pollution concentration change quickly overtime in small areas. For example, people who live in the same city but in different neighborhoods, could experience different air concentrations. Due to these frequent fluctuations, engineers and scientists have begun to use stand alone regional weather and air pollution models. These models give more accurate temperature and weather readings.

Engineers are responsible for many structures that could help reduce climate change. Green buildings, for example, are closely monitored during the building process. Planning, design, water use, indoor environmental quality, material selection, and energy use are closely examined during the process of building green buildings.  Engineers have to look at how buildings consume energy. The more energy a building consumes, the more harmful emissions it will give off. Engineers today are encouraged to build green buildings that use solar panels. This allows the building to run on cleanly produced energy. Business are also encouraged to purchase energy produced by renewable resources and not fossil fuels. Because of better and stricter environmental codes, engineers are pushed to be more environmentally conscious in our decisions and ultimately,  in our lives.

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