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GGR333H5 Study Guide - Final Guide: Counterintuitive, Kyoto Protocol, World Bank

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Pierre Desrochers
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GGR333 Lecture 12
Intro: Many types of pollution (water, air, acid rain)
Historical perspective: common misconception
๎€Air pollution is getting worse
๎€Peak: Greco-Roman Era
๎€Rome (city)
Classical era
๎€Air pollution (wood) ~ 6000 yrs.
Industrial revolution: (coal burning)
๎€Alkali factories
oHydrochloric acid emissions
-Acid rain killed trees and crops
-Streams and rivers polluted
Context: But in some of worst places (Manchester) no movement against air pollution. WHY?
๎€Smoke =
- Industrial progress
- Employment
- Prosperity
๎€‚ Smoke was inevitable and innocuous accomplishment of meritorious act of
๎€Clean air = poverty and starvation
Can smoke be good for you health?
๎€Lancet 1892 editorial against London smoke
๎€350 tons of sulphur thrown into air in one winter day
๎€Enormous amount of sulphurous acid generated from it
Things also improve in USโ€ฆeven Pittsburgh.
๎€Air quality transition ~1900
oCleaner energy sources (oil, hydro, natural gas, nuclear)
oMore efficient combustion technology (coal)
oElectrostatic precipitation
(US estimates of overall dust collection efficiency for power plants)
-1960s smoke problems virtually solved in most common urban areas.
In Short: air pollution is not a new phenomenon gotten worse and worseโ€ฆ
(2) Energy and air pollution (fundamentals): main components
๎€‚ Criteria pollutants:
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Definition: substances added to air by human activity that adversely affect environment
๎€Pollutants are in the form:
osmall particles of solids (particulates)
oSmall droplets of liquid suspended in gas (aerosols)
Criteria Pollutants: World bankโ€ฆ
1) Carbon monoxide (CO)
-Produced primarily in automobiles
-Only health hazard when emissions highly concentrated (heavy urban
2) Sulphur oxides (mostly sulphur dioxides)
๎€Suffocating odour
๎€Mostly coal burning
๎€Severe health effects when concentration is high (killer smog) but harvesting effects
3) Particulates: (or total suspended particulates, TSPs)
๎€Particulate matter:
๎€Health effects: can worsen pre-existing heart and lung conditions
Particulates (only 10% human- made, but concentrated in cities)
๎€Primary natural sources: Dust from dry soil
๎€Primary industrial โ€“ industrial smelters and electric power plants
4) Nitrogen oxides
๎€NOx exists in various forms
๎€NO (laughing gas)
๎€Nitrogen dioxide
๎€diNitrogen pemtaoxide
๎€Element oxidized (N) air (78% N) used in fuel combustion
๎€NO2 (especially) when combined with hydrocarbons ๎€‚ photochemical smog
-Ground level ozone๎€‚ responsible from smogโ€™s ordour
-Can damage plants
-Can irritate the lungs
๎€Element oxidized (nitrogen) ~ air (78% N) used in fuel combustion
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