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Compare permanent with variable gasses. Give examples of each.
Permanent gases- remain at stable concentrations (78% N2, 21% O2, 1% Ar)
Variable gases- vary across time and place (water vapor 0-7%)
- Closest to earth, 0-11
- kilometers high
- most dense
- the temperature decreases as altitude increases
- weather occurs in this region
original atmosphere was composed of
H and He
second atmosphere evolved from
gases from molten Earth
modern Atmosphere evolved after
Cyanobacteria started photosynthesizing
- thin layer of gases around Earth
- Provides oxygen
- Absorbs radiation and moderates climate
- Transports and recycles water and nutrients
- extends from 11 to 50 kilometers highdry and less dense
- temperature in this region increases gradually due to the absorption of ultraviolet radiation
- ozone layer absorbs and scatters the solar ultraviolet radiation
- ninety-nine percent of "air" is located in first two layers
- Extends 50 – 80 km
- Coldest layer of the atmosphere
- Absorbs solar radiation
- temps reach 2,000 ºC
Differentiate between weather and climate. What are some factors that influence climate?
- Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a particular time and place
- Climate is the long term weather conditions
- 2 main factors (Temperature, Precipitation)
- –atmospheric circulation, oceanic circulation, local geography, solar activity, and volcanic activity
What is the most important factor in determining climate? Describe the patterns with this factor.
- Latitude- The distance from the equator measured in degrees N or S
- At any given latitude, variations occur due to factors such as altitude, proximity to a large body of water, ocean currents, and wind patterns.
How do we get our seasons?
- The Sun Causes Seasonal Changes
- Occur because the earth’s axis is tilted (23.5º)
- Creates opposite seasons in the northern and southern hemisphere
Describe the pattern of convective circulation.
- –less dense, warm, moist air rises
- –Rising air expands and cools
- –Cool air descends and becomes denser
- –Replacing rising warm air
Name the three types of convective cells, their latitudes, patterns of circulation and how each affects biome distribution on our planet.
- Hadley cells = convective cells near the equator
- –Causing heavy rainfall and tropical rainforests
- They are responsible for the trade winds in the Tropics and control low-latitude weather patterns.
a region near the equator with few winds
- between the equator and 30 degrees
- Blow from east to west
- Weaken periodically, leading to El Niño conditions
Ferrel cells and polar cells
- Ferrel cells (between 30-60 degrees)
- polar cells lift air and create precipitation at 60 degrees latitude north and south
- –Conditions at the poles are dry
- from 30 to 60 degrees latitude
- Blow from west to east
Thermal (temperature) inversion
- a layer of cool air occurs beneath warm air
- Inversion layer = the band of air where temperature rises with altitude- Denser, cooler air at the bottom of the layer resists mixing
- Inversions trap pollutants in cities surrounded by mountains ie LA
Describe the Coriolis effect and how it affects global wind patterns.
- he apparent north-south deflection of air currents of the convective cells
- influences wind by deflecting its path to the right in the Northern Hemisphere
Explain three natural sources of air pollution and two man-made sources:
- Volcanoes- Release particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and other gases
- Fires- pollute the atmosphere with soot and gases
- Dust Storms- Wind over arid land sends huge amounts of dust aloft
- -Unsustainable farming and grazing promote Erosion and Desertification
- Point sources = specific spots where large quantities of pollutants are discharged (power plants and factory)
- Non-point sources = more diffuse, consisting of many small sources (automobiles)
Primary pollutants Secondary pollutants
- Primary pollutants = directly harmful and can react to form harmful substances
- -(soot and carbon monoxide)
- Secondary pollutants = form when primary pollutants interact or react with components of the atmosphere
- -Tropospheric ozone and sulfuric acid
How does a pollutants residence time affect its impact?
- Pollutants with brief residence times exert localized impacts over short time periods
- -Particulate matter, automobile exhaust
- Pollutants with long residence times exert regional or global impacts
- -Pollutants causing climate change or ozone depletion
Below explain the Clean Air Act and its amendments in 1990 and 1997.
- Set standards for air quality
- limits on emissions
- Provided funds for pollution-control research
- Allowed citizens to sue parties violating the standards
- The Clean Air Act of 1990 strengthened regulations for auto emissions, toxic air pollutants, acidic deposition, stratospheric ozone depletion
- Introduced emissions trading for sulfur dioxide
Carbon monoxide (CO)
- colorless, odorless gas
- Produced primarily by incomplete combustion of fuel From vehicles and engines, industry, waste combustion, residential wood burning
- Poses risk to humans and animals, even in small concentrations
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- colorless gas with a strong odor
- Coal emissions from electricity generation
- Can form acid precipitation
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
- a highly reactive, foul-smelling reddish brown gas
- Nitrogen oxides (NO) = formed when nitrogen and oxygen react at high temperatures in engines Vehicles, industrial combustion, electrical utilities
- Contribute to smog and acid precipitation
Tropospheric ozone (O3)
- a colorless gas with a strong odor
- Considered a pollutant in one part of the atmosphere but essential in another
- Results from interactions of sunlight, heat, nitrogen oxides, and volatile carbon-containing chemicals
- A secondary pollutant
- Harm tissues and cause respiratory problems
- The pollutant that most frequently exceeds EPA standards
- suspended solid or liquid particles
- Primary pollutants: dust and soot
- Secondary pollutants: sulfates and nitrates
- Damages respiratory tissue when inhaled
- From dust and combustion processes
- in gasoline and industrial metal smelting
- accumulates and damages the nervous system
- Banned in gasoline in developed, but not in developing, countries
Who sets standards for the six criteria pollutants? Who monitors them?
- State and local agencies monitor, calculate, and report to the EPA the emissions of criteria pollutants while agencies monitor them
- Tropospheric ozone has no emissions to monitor
What are VOC’s? Where do they come from?
- Organic chemicals that vaporize readily and form toxic fumes
- Used and emitted by engines and industrial processes
- VOCs can react to produce ozone
Define smog. Describe a few ways we can reduce smog.
- an unhealthy mixture of air pollutants over urban areas
- Regulations require new cars to have catalytic converters
- Require cleaner industrial facilities
- Financial incentives to replace aging vehicles
- Reduce sulfur in diesel; remove lead in gasoline
industrial smog and photochemical smog
- Industrial (gray air) smog = industries burn coal or oil, Sulfur from burned coal combines with oxygen to form sulfuric acid
- Photochemical (brown air) smog = Produced by a series of reactions, Formed in hot, sunny cities surrounded by mountains, Light-driven reactions of primary pollutants and atmospheric compounds, Irritates eyes, nose, and throats
What is a CFC? What produces them? What affect does a CFC molecule have on stratospheric ozone?
- a halocarbon used as refrigerants, in fire extinguishers, in aerosol cans, etc.
- CFCs remain in the stratosphere for a century
- UV radiation breaks CFCs into chlorine and carbon atoms
- The chlorine atom splits ozone
Why is the ozone hole over Antarctica?
- A polar vortex (swirling winds) traps chlorine
- UV radiation in September (spring) sunshine dissipates the clouds and releases the chlorine
- The chlorine destroys the ozone
- the “ozone hole” occurs over Antartica because of the special atmospheric and chemical conditions that exist there and nowhere else on the globe.
What was the Montreal Protocol? Why was it so successful?
- 196 nations agreed to cut CFC production in half by 1998
- Follow-up agreements deepened cuts, advanced timetables, and addressed other ozone-depleting chemicals
- It is considered our biggest environmental success story
- --Research developed rapidly, along with technology
- the deposition of acid, or acid-forming pollutants from the atmosphere onto Earth’s surface
- Nutrients are leached from topsoil- Soil chemistry is changed
- Damages crops
- Affects surface water and kills fish
What is the leading cause of indoor air pollution in developing countries?
burning wood, charcoal, dung, crop wastes inside homes with little to no ventilation
Name and describe 4 common types of indoor air pollutants in developed countries.
- Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals
- Radon- colorless, odorless gas resulting from natural decay of rock, soil, or water that can seep into buildings
- -- second leading cause of lung cancer, causes 21,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
- VOC- airborne carbon-containing compounds
- --“New car smell”- dozens of VOCs from plastics, metals, leather
- Living organisms can pollute indoors
- --Fungi, mold, mildew, airborne bacteria cause allergies, asthma, other respiratory ailments, and diseases
What is sick building syndrome?
- a sickness produced by indoor pollution with general and nonspecific symptoms
- Reduced by using low-toxicity materials and good ventilation
Explain 3 techniques for reducing indoor air pollutants in Developing countries Developed countries
- Developing: Dry wood before burning (reduces the amount of smoke produced)
- Cook outside
- Developed: limit use of plastics and treated wood, monitor air quality, keep rooms clean, Provide adequate ventilation, Limit exposure to pesticides, Test homes and offices for radon, mold and CO