Air Vocab List
Terms in this set (33)
caused by sulfuric and nitric acids (H2SO4, HNO3), resulting in lowered pH of surface waters,
soil acidification and destruction of building materials
A suspension of solid or liquid particles within the air; Man-made aerosols (dust particles) in the atmosphere are believed to reduce
solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth and therefore to produce a cooling effect on global temperatures
enormous bodies of air that move as a unit
Any particulates that are in the air.
The fraction of incident light that is reflected by an object, especially the Earth or another planet reflecting the Sun's light.
air quality standards (set by EPA) stating that the outside average air should always maintain a certain level
or purity. These standards regulate levels of pollution that should ne be exceeded to maintain environmental
and human health
the gaseous mass or envelope surrounding a celestial body, especially the one surrounding the Earth,
which is retained by the body's gravitational field
see-sawing of air pressure over the S. Pacific
Increase in the average temperature of the Earth. The average temperature of the Earth has risen and fallen over periods
of millions of years (such as during Ice Ages) but current concern is that the increase in greenhouse gases generated by
humans, particularly carbon dioxide emissions from use of fossil fuels, will contributing to global warming. Preferred
term now is global climate changes because changes in average temperatures have effects on other aspects of weather and
climate, including amount of rainfall.
The phenomenon whereby the earth's atmosphere traps solar radiation, caused by the presence in the atmosphere of gases
such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through but absorb heat radiated
back from the earth's surface.
A gas such as carbon dioxide, ozone, or water vapor that contributes to the warming of the Earth's
atmosphere by reflecting radiation from the Earth's surface. ie CO2, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's), & nitrous oxide.
: a system of vertical and horizontal air circulation predominating in tropical and subtropical
regions and crating major weather patterns
Tax imposed on the use of energy supplies.
A warm layer of air above a cooler layer traps pollutants close to the earths surfac
a high speed, meandering wind current, generally moving from a westerly direction at speeds
often exceeding 250 miles per hour
Normal year easterly trade winds and ocean currents pool warm water in the western pacific, allowing upwelling
of nutrient rich water off the West Coast of South America
Formation: secondary pollutant,
NO2 + uv _ NO + O
+ O2 _ O3, with VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
Effects: respiratory irritant, plant damage
Reduction: reduce NO and VOC emissions
Tropospheric ozone is BAD, stratospheric ozone is GOOD
Primary Air Pollutant
Produced by humans & nature (CO, CO2, SO2, NO, hydrocarbons, particulates)
Source: burning fossil fuels and diesel exhaust Effect reduces visibility & respiratory
irritation, reduces filtering, electrostatic precipitation
that are present in photochemical smog. These air pollutants are very harmful
to plants and cause eye, nose and throat irritation to humans
Formed by chemical reactions involving sunlight (NO, VOC, O2)
Secondary Air Pollutant
Formed by reaction of primary pollutants
To alter the course of a wave of energy that passes into something from another medium, as water does to light entering it from the air;
caused by differences in wave speed.
To return light rays from a surface in such a way that the angle at which a give ray is returned is equal to the angle at which
it strikes the surface.
Second layer of atmosphere 10 - 30 miles above the earth's surface. Contains protective ozone layer (good ozone)
Source: coal burning
Effects: acid deposition, respiratory irritation, damages plants
Equation for acid formation: SO2 + O2 = SO3 + H2O = H2SO4
Reduction: scrubbers, burn low sulfur fuel)
layer of dense, cool air trapped under a layer of warm dense air, pollution in trapped layer may build to harmful
levels; frequent in Los Angeles, California and Mexico City, Mexico
As the sunlight hits the land it is radiated back into space.
First layer of atmosphere 0 - 10 miles above the earths surface, contains weather, greenhouse gasees (bad ozone)
Urban Heat Island
In large cities, expanses of paved surfaces, particularly asphalt, absorbs heat during day and radiates heat at night. Sparse
vegetation and paved surfaces increase rain runoff, furthering reducing cooling effects. Temperatures in the cities are usually
3-5 degrees hotter than surrounding country side.
Controlling global warming by setting greenhouse gas emissions targets for developed countries
Clean Air Act
Requires EPA to set and enforce rules regarding : mobile source limits (cars), ambient air quality standards (smog),
Hazardous air pollutants discharge (what comes out of smoke stacks), standards for new pollution sources
(invent a polluting source? Talk to EPA before it can be used), acid rain reduction, ozone depletion protection,
EPA works with areas that don't attain clean air standards.
Established ambient standards for four primary pollutants: sulfur dioxide, particulates, carbon monoxide and nitrogen
oxides. Protecting the quality of the Nations air resources and the public health and welfare.
1987) phase-out of ozone depleting substances