Project title: The way air pollution affects climate of Cluj Napoca’s neighborhoods
2018-2019 Nicolae Balcescu High School Cluj-Napoca Romania 9 Student’s age: 12-13
Summary of the project
We have learned that climate change is a consequence of the increasing greenhouse effect . We understood what this effect means only after we discovered, through an experiment, that air with a larger concentration of carbon dioxide absorbs energy from the Sun better, thus having a higher temperature, than the one with a lower concentration of carbon dioxide. As long as deforestation goes on and nobody does anything to stop the emission of greenhouse gasses and the pollution, the quantity of carbon dioxide in the air will keep on growing and the climate will change more and more. We started our research by searching the Internet to find information about how the temperature was in our home town, Cluj Napoca. We wanted to go further and so we started measuring the temperature in five different neighborhoods, each day at 7 a.m. and at 8 p.m.. In order to be more organized and to have better results, we splitted in 3 teams: the first one measured the temperatures and centralized them in tables, the second one interpreted the data and did lots of graphs and diagrams and the last one analyzed everything and tried to come with a solution.
We started with an experiment. We used two vials, one containing laboratory’s air and the other one containing air with a more concentrated level of carbon dioxide, obtained by mixing vinegar and sodium bicarbonate. We placed two thermometers inside each vial and we observed that the temperature in the second was higher. In this way we understood the greenhouse effect. Then, we placed some thermometers outside our house, about one metre above the ground. We registered the temperature daily, and after 2 months we had our tables with the data. Statistics Team combined the data and we got the following results: The hottest spot was in the centre of Cluj-Napoca, with an average of 9 degrees Celsius and the coldest place was in Iris, with an average of 2.60 degrees Celsius. After that, we used a software written in Python which determined the percentage of greenery in each of our neighborhoods, taken from satellite images. The software highlighted in purple where was vegetation and calculated a percentage. The results are the following: the neighborhoods with the hottest temperatures had the least percentage of greenery, 1.5% and the areas with the coldest temperatures had the highest percentage of vegetation, 7.8%
Actions to help lessen the problem
After we compared the data obtained and analyzed the results, we reached the following conclusion. The more modern our lives, the urbanization of cities, the advancement of technology, even trough nature damaging methods, we are harming both our planet and, implicitly, our lives. So it would be a good idea to give up on them, in order to create a better home. We could start walking or cycling, or even use public transport as often as possible, we could close the light from a room when we leave it, we could not waste water or paper, vain. There are many things to do, but that does not stop us from putting them into practice! There is always a beginning! This start must not be great, but it can mean planting a flower in the garden, reusing old forgotten sheets, or even putting waste in the right recycling containers. It’s never too late!
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