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17 terms

environmental ch 3

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acid rain
when sulfuric acid and nitric acid are oxidized in atmosphere, they react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form acids that fall as rain. Sunlight increases the rate of most of these reactions.
particulate
small solid particles and liquid droplets that are suspended in the air
thermal pollution
pollution caused by abnormally heating the air, land, or water
troposphere
the layer closest to the surface of the earth where temperature decreases with height. Lots of mixing of air masses here create and contain our weather.
inversion layer
layer that results when there is hot air mass above decreasing temperature gradient, barrier for gases to go any higher
emissions
something that is produced or given out; substances discharged into the air by a smokestack or gasoline engine
VOCS
volatile organic compounds, such as benzene and ethylene
eutrophication
the process in which excessive amounts of nutrients enter a body of water, causing an explosion in the populations of aquatic plants; will eventually result in depleted levels of dissolved oxygen in the water
algae bloom
uncontrolled growth of algae in water bodies
combustion
burning or rapid oxidation combined with the release of heat and light energy
bioaccumulation
the ingestion and storage of toxins in body tissue
stratosphere
the layer between approximately 15 km and 50 km above the earth and contains the ozone layer. Temperature here increases with increasing altitude
plume
an area of contamination or pollution that can be found in the air or in water; often spreads from a single point into a much larger area
scrubbers
limestone mixed with water and sprayed into coal combustion gases; acts to "pull" sulfur out of the gases. The limestone and sulfur combine to form either a wet paste, or in some new scrubbers, a dry powder.
acid deposition
occurs as wet and dry deposition; wet deposition (or "acid rain") where SO2 and NOX compounds bind with water to acidify rain, snow or fog and dry deposition when acidic gases and particles naturally fall to the ground
mesosphere
the layer about 50 to 90 km above the earth which contains portions of the ionosphere. Here temperature again decreases with increasing altitude and convection can occur.
thermosphere
the layer above the mesosphere where temperatures increase rapidly to 250 to 1500 degrees celsius