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GEOG 221 (32)
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Lecture 4

GEOG 221 Lecture 4.1.docx

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GEOG 221
Nancy Ross

GEOG 221 Lecture 4.1 Assignment 1 description: Per capita : per person Trend lines : line of best fit Is everybody exposed to air pollution in the same way? Do you choose where you live? Do you have ultimate freedom to choose where you live? Does that choice affect your exposure to air pollution? PM10: Particulate matter size 10 Do not use point form (use proper sentences) Label figures as Figure 1, Figure 2, integrate me into the text (refer to them) Air pollution Not a new phenomenon – since Ancient Rome (fire, lots of people in dense urban environment creating air pollution) – human health effect of pollution: as soon as you leave the densely polluted city, there is a change in mood What is air pollution? Atmosphere gets polluted when it is changed by the addition of particles, gases, so that the altered atlmosphere poses solme harm because of its imoact on human health, animals, vegetation, or materials Concept of pollution entails:  A sense of degradation  Loss of quality  Adverse environmental/health effects Not everybody gets affected Primary vs. Secondary pollutants Primary: emitted directly into the atmosphere  From chimney stack or farm activity  CO, NO, SO2, HC, PM Secondary: involve chemical reactions with primary pollutants  Generated in atmosphere over time  Ozone (O3)  Time factor, spatial factor o Just because you’re not near the area of creation of the pollutant does not mean you won’t be affected as the atmosphere moves things over time Acute vs. Chronic Phenomena  Emphasis has been on acute events o Spectacular o Make the news o Short duration o Typically small geographical scale  More significant: effects of widespread deposition o Results from commonly-accepted polluting practices in land-use, transportation, etc o Effects are cumulative  potentially leading to ‘chronic’ conditions  We don’t know what the effects of these will be  Lots of studies trying to link air pollution with human health conditions  How can we identify a cause and effect uniquely? Very difficult  Past attention was on intensive, observable “acute” events o Historical events  1257 Queen Eleanor forced to leave Nottingham because of coal smoke  1273 Edward I prohibited use of one type of coal; prohibition ineffective; a coal merchant was tortured and hanged for smoke nuisance o Problems compounded during the Industrial Revolution o Major historical pollution episodes:  1873 London: 1150 deaths estimated  1909 Glasgow: 1063 deaths estimated  1930 Meuse Valley, Belgium: 63 dead, 6000 sick  1948 Donora, Pa.: 20 dead, 5900 sick  1952 London: 4000 deaths The Earth’s Atmosphere Atmospheric composition by volume  Nitrogen 78% (inert)  Oxygen 21% o Up to 80km  Argon 1%  Greenhouse gases: trace gases: very small amounts in the atmosphere; vary by location and height in the atmosphere  Water vapor 0-4%  Carbon dioxide (0.034%) Vertical structure of atmosphere  Atmospheric pressure: volume of gases above ground pressing down on what’s below  At sea level (strongest, most gases above) : pressure just above 1000mb (1 kg of air/m^3)  Below elevation of 5.6 km, ½ of the atmosphere has been reached  At 16 km, 90% of atmosphere has been traversed  As you go higher, there is less oxygen  Pressure decreases exponentially as you rise in the atmosphere  We live in the troposphere  Sometimes in the stratosphere with intercontinental flights  Warmest near the surface, decreases with height in troposphere, in stratosphere temperature increases with height due to ozone (absorption of sunlight by ozone molecules) Natural pollutants  Pollution exists naturally o Acute: volcanic eruptions o Chronic: sea spray, pollen  Natural and human pollutants o Many natural and anthropogenic compounds are pollutants (memorize a few of these)  Imagine an atmosphere entirely free of pollutants: no dust, aerosols, particulates o Major consequences: no cloud condensation, no rain, no life! (no pollen) o Salt attracts water particles  Natural pollution: generally less significant o Levels of contaminants are lower o Large distances separate sources and human populations o Major episodes are episodic and transient Framework for thinking about air pollution within this course: Source:  EMISSIONS: rate, type, source configuration State of the atmosphere:  DISPERSION: vertical and horizontal – stability, turbulence, wind;  TRANSFORMATION: chemical reactions;  REMOVAL: settling, scavenging, adsorption, impaction Sink:  RECEPTOR RESPONSE: health effects, vegetation damage, soiling, corrosion Atmospheric dispersion:  D
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