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31 Oct 2010
Chapter 13
Outdoor air pollution/ambient air pollution
Air pollutants: gases and particulate material added to the atmosphere that can affect climate/harm
Air pollution: the release of air pollutants
- Wind sweeping dust Æ brings nutrients/fungal and bacterial spores, wind erosion
- Volcanic eruptions Æ releases particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and other gases (aerosols)
- Burning vegetation Æ releases CO2
Point source: specific spot where large quantities of pollutants are discharged
Non-point source: more diffuse, consisting of many small sources
- May do harm directly or they may induce chemical reactions that produce harmful compounds
Primary pollutants: soot and carbon monoxide, pollutants emitted into the troposphere in a form that
can be directly harmful or that can react to form harmful substances Æ react with secondary
Secondary pollutants: tropospheric ozone, sulphuric acid
- Cleaner-burning motor vehicle engines and automotive technologies (e.g. catalytic converters)
- Sulphur dioxide permit-trading and clean coal technologies
- Precipitators and scrubbers (chemically convert/physically remove airborne pollutants before
they are emitted from smokestacks)
Smog/industrial smog: when coal or oil is burned, some portion is completely combusted, forming CO2,
some producing CO, and some remains unburned and is released as soot or particles of carbon
Photochemical smog (brown-air smog): formed through light-driven chemical reactions of primary
pollutants and normal atmospheric compounds that produce a mix of more than 100 different chemicals
(mainly O3)
- Levels peak in mid-afternoon
- Can irritate peoples eyes, noses, and throats
- Airshed: a geographic area associated with a particular air mass
- rural air pollution (from feedlots, where cattle, hogs, or chickens are in dense concentrations) waste;
dust, methane, hydrogen sulphide, and ammonia from waste
- industrialized nations outdoor air pollution factories/power plants
- Asian Brown Cloud reduces sunlight reaching Earths surface by 10-15%, influence climate, decrease
rice productivity by 5-10% and accounts for thousands of deaths annually
- polar vortex circular wind pattern that traps extremely cold air over the pole
- bromine has the same effect as chlorine from CFCs in the upper atmosphere
- Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS)
Acidic disposition: the settling, or disposition, of acidic or acid-forming pollutants from the atmosphere
onto Earths surface
- Through acidic precipitation (acid rain) acid snow, sleet, and hail; by fog ; by gases; or by the
deposition of dry particles
- Is an atmospheric deposition: the wet or dry deposition on land of a variety of pollutants
- Normal rain pH of 5.6 due to reaction with carbon dioxide acid rain pH of 5.1 or lower
- Acids leach nutrients (Ca, Mg, K) from topsoil, altering soil chemistry, harming plants/organisms
- mobilizes toxic metal ions (Al, Zn, Hg, Cu) by chemically converting them from insoluble Æ
- Acidic water runoff affects streams, rivers, and lakes deadly to aquatic life
- Damages agricultural crops, erodes stone buildings, corrodes cars
- Can travel long distances
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