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Stability, wind, and radiation

Atmospheric problems governing air pollution


-air pollution is trapped near the surface in stable atmosphere
-anticyclones are bad dispersal
-STH are also bad for dispersal
-temperature inversions are very bad


-transports pollutants long distances


Sunshine encourages photochemical pollution

Photochemical pollution

Result from fuel combustion exhaust and introduction of UV energy
− Nitrogen Oxides and Volatile Organic Compounds interact with UV

Clean air act of 1970

EPA must set standards and monitor certain "criteria" pollutants. Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, tropospheric ozone, lead, nitrogen and particulates

Threshold pollutants

OK in small doses but have an effect after a certain threshold is reached.
-includes all pollutant criteria except ozone

Non-threshold pollutants

Cause problems as soon as they exist
-includes ozone

Primary pollutants

produced by humans & nature (CO, CO2, SO2, NO, hydrocarbons, particulates).

Secondary pollutants

pollutants that form from chemical reactions that occur when primary pollutants come in contact with other primary pollutants or with naturally occuring substances, such as water vapor.
-industrial smog
-photochemical smog
-acid rain

acid rain

rain containing acids that form in the atmosphere when industrial gas emissions (especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) combine with water

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