Experts at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) have suggested that the relation between air and car pollution is evident and increases with the number of cars on the roads.
As the number of cars increases so do the emissions because of the kind of gas and the type of car, its size, age and the way it is driven.
The way a car is driven, either fast or slow, on asphalted roads or winding ones, affects its emissions. The experts estimate that consumption of benzene and diesel is put at 811,000 barrels every day by the 12 million cars on the Kingdom’s roads.
Ahmad Al-Ansari, head of the department of environmental sciences and meteorology at KAU, said the new rail and highway projects will lower energy consumption but people need to make lifestyle changes to use less energy and reduce the emission of harmful pollutants.
Naif Al-Makaisha, professor of environmental microbiology, said safe alternatives are found in using biomass for renewable energy. This includes using recycling technology to produce chemical compounds which can be used as renewable energy resources that are sustainable and environment friendly; fossil fuels can run out at any time. He said public transportation plays a major role in decreasing pollution, and stressed the importance of concentrating on producing safe and sustainable energy.
Mamdouh Ibrahim, air pollution expert, said the relationship between burning fuel and air pollution is connected to the increase in the number of vehicles. To reduce the emission of harmful gasses, citizens need to be educated about safe and ideal driving to help reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. Awareness campaigns should include defining speed limits, he added.
Asas Abu Raziza, associate professor, stressed the importance of educating people and introducing them to the meaning of “over consumption,” in addition to the problems of environmental pollution in schools or commercial complexes. He said that education should not be about consuming fuel, but rather consuming energy in general.
There are three stations to monitor air pollution and measure dust particles and gasses in general, in addition to other stations affiliated with the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME).