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Lec 10

5 Pages

Environmental Science
Course Code
Carl Mitchell

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EESA- Lecture 10- Atmospheric Pollution and Global Climate Change Criteria Air Contaminants - Volatile = it can go from gas to liquid to solid easily - Troposphere makes smog Persistent Organic Pollutants - They last in the environment for a very long time - Can have detrimental effects at low concentration - Silent Spring! READ IT- largely talked about DDT on bird reproductive capabilities Heavy Metals - Mercury and lead: some gets into the atmosphere as particulate and some as a gas - High amounts of mercury found in breast milk of polar bears and Inuit people - Used to be leaded gas and non leaded gas Smog - Most of the pollutants that come from cars react with something else and create something worse - Ozone (O3) is what smog is essentially - Smells bad Ozone Depletion - Necessary because it absorbs UV radiation - There is no such thing as a hole in the ozone= it is actually just a thinning or lessening of the ozone in the stratosphere above the Antarctic Ozone Depletion - There was a huge global change when the world realized that there was a thinning in the ozone. - The o3 as smog is completely different than the o3 in the stratosphere Acid Rain - Primary pollutants are formed directly from the industries etc - Secondary pollutants are formed by the combination of primary pollutant and the gasses in the atmosphere - As ph decreases the leaching of metals in the ground soil like calcium and these are very important in the soils - You could also get leeching of metals like aluminum that then get into rivers or aquatic environments which can cause huge killings because aluminum is poisonous to fish Some Improvements, Some Stability - The problem is not just Canadian or American it is from both sides since wind just passes through the border Is CO2 an Atmospheric Pollutant? - Proffs answer: yes we can The Greenhouse Effect - Main thing to be worried about is the solar radiation  we absorb radiation and re-emit it at a specific - We are gaining energy over time and heating - 342 W/m2 is the amount of solar radiation coming in - Roughly half of that coming in is absorbed ( 168) - The incoming radiation in general is balanced by the outgoing radiation - Because the incoming is loike one digit greater than the outgoing, we are heating up What we know: Greenhouse Gases - Methane is natural gas - Carbon dioxide is in parts per million compared to methane or nitrous oxide that are parts per billion - So you have to double the co2 to get the same amount - 23 ppb methane to get 1 CO2 Sources of CO2 - There used to be a balance between the natural sources and human sources but now we tipped the scale - We don’t have the ability to create a stable carbon sink to store all the carbon Recent trends - The trend goes up and down because plants don’t live for the whole year round and when they grow, they take CO2 and when they die they release CO2 - This is not why - The one on the right is commonly referred to as the climate hockey stick. Feedbacks are important - The positive and negative feedbacks could be related to the same things and that is the hard part because you don’t know what feedback is going to happen Radiative Forcing is Key Measure - The amount of radiation that is going to be gained or lost - Positive forcing means gain energy - Negative forcing means losing energy - Today we have positive forcing - Solar variation is tiny How do we Measure Past Temperatures and Predict Future Ones? - We don’t actually have a whole lot of recorded data from back in the day - We do have ways to find out the temperature that used to be by paleoclimate by using proxies - For example: you can take the core of a tree and see the age rings to see how old the tree is if the rings are far apart, the tree grew a lot and trees usually grow more in warm weather - At the bottom of lakes, things decompose very slowly. You can find pollen from under the ocean an see what plants grow there and what temperature those plants usually grow in tells you the temp of the land - Also with ice bubbles - And isotopes Future: Climate Modeling - You make a model of what you think “educated guess” of what is happening, you run it backwards to see if it makes sense with what happened in the past and then run it forward to see what it predicts this Lecture 11- November 29 , 2010h Debunking Climate Scientists- ask yourself, who these people are and who they work for IPCC Scenarios- different scenarios of what might happen in the world according to how the world will react to global warming and helping the environment Future Depends on Us- these are how much the world will be affected by global warming and climate change - Arctic will have a huge impact from global warming - Some people say that global warming would have happened with or without human effects because of the natural tilt of the earth Slide 21- Natural Climate Variability - This effects how far away we are from the sun and that effects the amount of radiation we get - Milankovitch found these climate cycles and matched then to the cycles of the earth when these waves go together for the least solar input then we end up in an ice age and when these things go together for the most solar input we end up to come out of ice ages - What is happening right now is NOT Milankovitch cycle - The astonishing thing that is happening right now is not that we are warming or cooling because that happens all the time it is the rate at which it is happening never happened this quickly before So are we responsible for this?- the increase in gree
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