34 terms

Miller AP Environmental Science Chapter 18 Hug HS

Atmospheric pressure
Force of air mass per unit are of air, caused by a bombardment of a surface by the molecules in the air.
Innermost layer of the atmosphere, containing about 75% of the mass of earth's air and extends about 17 km (11 m) above sea level. Weather happens here and most air pollution.
Ozone layer
Layer of gaseous ozone (O3) in the stratosphere that protects life on Earth by filtering out most harmful UV radiation from the sun.
Primary pollutants
Chemicals that have been added directly to the air by natural events or human activities and occurs in a harmful concentration.
Secondary pollutants
Harmful chemicals formed in the atmosphere when primary air pollutants reacts with normal air components such as water, oxygen or other air pollutants
Air pollution
One or more chemicals in high enough concentrations in the air to harm humans, other animals, vegetation, or materials. Excess what is also considered a form of air pollution.
Nitric oxide (NO)
Colorless gas that forms when nitrogen and oxygen react at high-combustion temperatures in automobile engines and coal-burning plants. Lightning and certain bacteria in soil can produce NO as part of the nitrogen cycle.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
foul-smelling red-brown gas, formed when nitrogen oxide reacts with oxygen. Contributes to smog and acid deposition
Nitrogen oxides (NOx)
Gases produced by the chemical interactions between atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen at high temperature
Greenhouse gases
Cause difficulty breathing
Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
Gases produced by the chemical interactions between sulfur and oxygen
Causes acid precipitation.
Colorless gas with an irritating odor. About 1/3 of the SO2 in the atmosphere comes from natural sources.
Also called suspended particulate matter (SPM) or PM. A variety of solid particles and liquid droplets small and light enough to remain suspended on the air for long periods. May contain toxic or carcinogen materials. Can become lodged in lungs. PM2.5 are particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, and are particularly
Ozone (O3)
Tropospheric Ozone Man- made pollutant in the lower atmosphere.
Secondary air pollutant.
Component of photochemical smog.
Stratospheric Ozone
Essential component that screens out UV radiation in the upper atmosphere
Man- made pollutants (ex: CFCs) can destroy it
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Organic compounds that exist as gases in the atmosphere and act as pollutants (some hazardous)
Industrial smog
Type of air pollution consisting mostly of sulfuric dioxide, sulfuric acid formed from sulfur dioxide, and suspended solid particles. Industrial smog is usually grey.
Acid deposition
The Falling of acids and acid-forming compounds from the atmosphere to the earth's surface. (Commonly known as acid rain)
Temperature inversion
Layer of dense, cool air trapped under a layer of less dense, warm air, preventing upward-flowing air currents from developing.
2nd layer of the atmosphere, extending about 17-48 km above the earth's surface, containing ozone which serves to protect life from UV radiation and skin cancer.
Sulfuric acid (H2SO4)
Suspended particles of sulfate and salts that return to Earth after acid deposition.
Carbon oxides
CO (carbon monoxide) and CO2 (carbon dioxide)
Greenhouse Gases
Photochemical smog
Complex mixture of air pollutants produced in the lower atmosphere by reactions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides under the influence of sunlight. Usually brownish orange.
a dense layer of cold air trapped under a layer of warm air. The warm layer acts much like a lid, trapping pollutants in the cold air near the valley floor. The warm inversion air layer is usually displaced by a strong storm system which restores air quality to healthy levels.
Atmosphere Ecosystem Services
Blocks UV radiation
Moderates the climate
Redistributes water in the hydrologic cycle
Atmospheric Composition
Nitrogen 78.08%
Oxygen 20.95%
Argon 0.93%
Carbon dioxide 0.04%
Major air pollutant
List of pollutants that add to air pollution at significant levels and/or have particular harmful effects. This includes Particulate matter
NOx, SOx, CO and CO2, hydrocarbons, Ozone (O3 and Cl2 (Chlorine)
Peroxyacyl nitrates or PANs are a component of photochemical smog, produced in the atmosphere when oxidized volatile organic compounds combine with nitrogen oxide. They are a secondary pollutant since they form in the atmosphere after the emission of primary pollutants.
Diverse group of organic compounds that contain only hydrogen and carbon (ex: CH4- methane)
Some are related to photochemical smog and greenhouse gases
Sources of Smog
Transportation is biggest source in LA
Also industry and smallest bit from consumer products
Health Effects of Air Pollution
Sulfur Dioxide and Particulate material
Irritate respiratory tract and impair ability of lungs to exchange gases
Nitrogen Dioxides
Causes airway restriction
Carbon monoxide
Binds with iron in blood hemoglobin
Causes headache, fatigue, drowsiness, death
Causes burning eyes, coughing, and chest discomfort
Air pollution control devices
electrostatic precipator
baghouse, vapor recovery systems, catalytic converter
The Clean Air Act
Authorizes EPA to set limits on amount of specific air pollutants permitted
Focuses on 6 pollutants:
lead, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone
The CAA has led to significant decreases!
Criterion Pollutants
6 Pollutants in which EPA tracks containment status. lead, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone
Indoor Air pollutants
Most common:
Radon, cigarette smoke, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, pesticides, lead, cleaning solvents, ozone, and asbestos
acid deposition
Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions react with water vapor in the atmosphere and form acids that return to the surface as either dry or wet deposition
effects of acid deposition
Declining Aquatic Animal Populations
Thin-shelled eggs prevent bird reproduction
Because calcium is unavailable in acidic soil
Forest decline
Ex: Black forest in Germany (50% is destroyed)

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