EVR 3/10/16 EVR2001
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carly Minsky on Tuesday March 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to EVR2001 at University of Florida taught by Dr. Coenan in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Intro to Environmental Science in Environmental Science at University of Florida.
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Date Created: 03/15/16
EVR 3/10/16 Closer you are the the earth, the thicker the atmosphere We as people are obligate aerobes-organisms that require oxygen to survive o We need it at a specific pressure to survive o Usually within 8 minutes of not having oxygen, you will die WHY DO WE REQUIRE OXYGEN? o We have no choice but to breathe, it is involuntary o Alveoli is where the oxygen goes o We get oxygen in and put co2 out during breathing- co2 is poisonous to us Earths atmosphere o Much like an onion because there are many distinct layer Most weather happens in the TROPOSPHERE Generally gets cooler with increasing altitude STRATOSPHERE is next layer Generally, gets warmer with increasing altitude Home of the ozone layer TROPOSPHERE is the bottom layer of the atmosphere Nitrogen makes up about 78% of atmosphere, Oxygen is about 21%, Carbon Dioxide is about . 035%, and Argon is about 1% Water vapor can make up between 1-4% of the atmosphere in addition the above percentage o MESOSPHERE is the outermost layer of the atmosphere IMPORTANCE of the ATMOSPHERE o Composition maintained through physical and biological factors o Oxygen used to be hazardous (back when there were few life forms on our planet) o Regulates climate through greenhouse effect- WITHOUT GREENHOUSE EFFECT, IT WOULD BE TOO COLD TO SURVIVE However, we are making the greenhouse effect slightly stronger o Redistributed excess heat from tropics to higher latitudes via atmospheric circulation o Main wind patterns go to poles from tropics-tropics get cooled down, and polars are getting heated up o Atmospheric pressure allows liquid water to exist at planet’s surface o Important link in many biogeochemical cycles (except phosphorus) o Protects from UV radiation via the ozone layer o Friction with the atmosphere “burns up” small meteors and space Natural Resources that contribute to air pollution o Volcanoes-ash and acidic components o Sea Spray- sulfur compounds (airborne salt water/salt crystals) o Vegetation-volatile organic compounds 2 o Dust storms-can be made worse by human activities through deforestation, not plating cover crops (dust from Sahara can even make it to south Florida!) GENERAL EFFECTS OF AIR POLLUTION o Once air pollution gets bad enough, it becomes visible, this is called GLOBAL DIMMING o Causes asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other repertory issues o Chronic exposure decreases life expectancy, by 5- 10 years on average o Acid rain o Dirties buildings and laundry o Causes inflammation of airways o Damages plant tissues o Estimated 5-6 million premature deaths per year TEMPERATURE INVERSIONS o Can get a layer of warm air on top of colder air, this acts like a lid-it traps any air below it, with no chance of escape- until the warm layer dissipates and the pollution can spread out into the surrounding regions o Can get so bad that you can taste/smell the air CRITERIA AIR POLLUTANTS UNDER CLEAN AIR ACT o U.S. Clean air act designated six major pollutants for which maximum ambient air levels are mandated Sulfur dioxide Nitrogen oxide Carbon monoxide 3 Lead Particulates Ozone Okay in stratosphere, not in atmosphere VOCs are an important chemical precursor Sulfur and Nitrogen oxide React with water to form acids (acid rain) Contribute to smog formation Nitrogen oxides contributes to eutrophication nutrient enrichment) of water bodies Nitrous oxide is also a greenhouse gas Carbon Monoxide Invisible, tasteless, odorless gas Product of incomplete combustion, typically in car and truck engines Causes hypoxia by binding more strongly to hemoglobin than oxygen does Accidental deaths in households common due to open flames indoors (propane burners, fireplaces, etc.) Lead and Mercury Toxic in low concentrations Causes neurological and cognitive damage, especially in children Released to atmosphere primarily through coal combustion 4 Lead used to be a gasoline additive (also found in paints) Legacy of past lead use (environmental contamination), continued use in aviation fuels, and refining/use of lead for industrial uses continues cause problems on local to regional scales Lead shot from hunting can kill birds and decomposers on feeding carcasses Mercury is stored in fatty tissues of animals. It accumulates over time (bioconcentration). Animals at high trophic levels have the highest concentrations (biomagnification). Most common form of mercury exposure is through eating fish Pregnant women usually shouldn’t consume fish PARTICULATES Aerosols: solid particles or liquid droplets suspended in the atmosphere Includes ash, soot, lint, smoke, pollen, dust spores Reduces visibility When smaller than 2.5 micrometers, they enter lungs and cause damage Long-term exposure can cause cancer Dust masks provide some protection from people 5 Most frequently exceeds legal limits OZONE Chemical formula: O3 (trioxygen), a pale blue gas with a sharp, biting odor Highly reactive (strong oxidizer)-damages mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 100 ppb (parts per billion Ozone is essential in the stratosphere) (UV protection) Also used for industrial purposes (especially water sanitation) In the troposphere, it is a pollutant created by the interaction of precursors (methane, VOCs) with sunlight Next to particulates, the air pollutant that most frequently exceeds legal limits WHAT IS OZONE DEPLETEION Depletion occurs when chlorine and bromine atoms come into contacts with ozone in the stratosphere Greatest above Antarctic, also known as the “ozone hole” Why does it occur o By cfcs and ods o Effects biogeochemical cycles, plants, animals, humans o Montreal protocol google it o 6
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