Acid Rain.docx

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Earth & Environmental Sciences
EESC 1175
Alan Kafka

Geo Science Study Guide 3 Exam rd Acid Rain What two gases cause acid rain (their contributing sources)? • NO axd SO re2ct with water (atmosphere) to form droplets of acid. • SO emissions = principal cause of acid rain 2 o Coal-burning power plants release 70% of SO emi2ted each year • Further oxidization and dissolution in water makes two strong acids: sulfuric acid and nitric acid - so air pollution becomes water pollution problem. o Primary pollutants (Sulfur dioxide (SO ) and Nitrogen oxides (NO ) reacts 2 x with water in clouds to produce secondary pollutants  sulfuric acid and nitric aced  acid rain • Nature of problems and symptoms caused by acid rain: to water, as a corrosive solvent, to aquatic animals to trees and other land plants that take up water, to buildings and monuments made of stone. o Acid rain has affected vegetation, aquatic systems, buildings  damaging plant leaves, degrading soil, and dissolving nutrients o Acid rain causes increases in the build up of heavy metals (lead, zinc, selenium, copper, and aluminum) leached from rocks and soils. o Acid rain can contaminate water supplies. It can damage structures through its corrosive effects. o Plants may suffer defoliation, or their growth may be stunted as changes in soil-water chemistry reduce their ability to take up key nutrients such as calcium. o Fish may be killed in acidified streams; or, the adult fish may survive but their eggs may not hatch in the acidified waters.Acid water leaching nutrients from lake-bottom sediments may contribute to algal bloom. o • What pH makes water acidic? o Acid rain has a pH less than 5.6; in the U.S, rain can have a pH of 3.6!  Rain water that has a pH greater than 5.6 is likely contaminated by an alkaline particle. This high pH can also be harmful if different from the natural pH of local ecosystems. Regional Variations in RainfallAcidity and Impacts • Rain down wind of industrial or populated areas have greater acidic conditions o Generally, industrial areas have notably higher sulfur dioxide emissions than non-industrial areas o Urban areas, with automobiles, generally have higher nitrogen oxide emissions than areas without automobiles • Local geography can reduce the acidity of waterways that receive acid rain o Limestone can neutralize acidic water; granite can not UrbanAir Pollution • Air pollution not distributed uniformly, mostly concentrated around urban areas • Sources of pollution: In and around urban areas such as automobiles, industry emission • Form of air pollution: Urban Smog • Affected by meteorology and topography Influence Factors in Urban Air Pollution • Sources and emission rates of pollution • Topography: Mountains as barriers for air movement, forming temperature inversion layers and promoting pollution over certain areas • Atmospheric conditions: Temperature, cloud cover, and wind affecting the transportation or dispersion of pollutants Potential for UrbanAir Pollution • Depends on several factors o Rate of pollutant emissions o Distance of air mass moving through urban air pollution source o Speed and duration of the wind o Sick building syndrome Air Pollution and Weather • Air pollution can impact local weather o Reduce visibility o Reduce air quality o Modify air temperature o Produce acid rain o Produce abnormal rain Air Pollution Control • Air Quality Standards – CleanAirAct (1970) o Designed to protect public health, clear the visible pollution in the air and prevent damage to crops • Control Methods o Trapping or scrubbing emissions o Conversion techniques that reduce the emission of harmful compounds to less harmful ones o Modifying the combustion process (CO, NO ) x • Automobile Emissions – Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) o Goal to reduce automobile emissions o Limited success achieved by requiring the use of catalytic converters in new cars and increased fuel economy standards for all new cars • Cost and Effects – it has increased abatement and control cost while limited areas of success have occurred • Also requires the control (abatement) of dust (solid particulate). Methods of dust control include: o Using water trucks on construction sites to minimize dust o Using bag houses and water sprays in crushing and milling operations o Applying soil palliatives for longer term dust control Energy Resources: Alternative Sources • Disproportionate amount of energy resources demanded and consumed in developed countries • Growing challenges: How to break energy dependency, yet sustain development and high standard of living • Energy shocks: Constant worries from past to present and to the future over the price, dependency, and power failure Major sources of renewable energy resources (solar, geothermal, hydropower, wind, and biomass) - How are they used as an alternative energy source? Compare them with the use of conventional energy source. What is a more ideal alternative energy source than the other? World Energy production by source in 2006: Petroleum 36.2%, Natural Gas 23%, Coal 27.5%, Hydropower 6.4%, Nuclear Power 6.0%, and (Geothermal, Wind, and Other) 1.07%. US Energy production by source: Petroleum 39%, Natural Gas 23%, Coal 22%, Nuclear electric 8%, Renewable energy 7% (hydroelectric 36%, wood 32%, biodiesel/ethanol 15%, waste 6%, wind 5%, geothermal 5%, solar 1%) Solar Energy • Primarily photovoltaic cells (“solar cells”) for power • Power from the Sun • Abundant solar energy reaches the earths surface o Be dissipated in various ways o Solar energy is free, clean, and a renewable energy resource o Limitations are latitude and climate o The wall and floor act as thermal reservoirs • Solar Heating o Passive solar heating: no mechanical assistance
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