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Introduction to Environmental Science

by: Gerry Spinka

Introduction to Environmental Science ENVS 101

Marketplace > University of Idaho > Environmental Science > ENVS 101 > Introduction to Environmental Science
Gerry Spinka
GPA 3.83


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Class Notes
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This 26 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gerry Spinka on Friday October 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENVS 101 at University of Idaho taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see /class/227751/envs-101-university-of-idaho in Environmental Science at University of Idaho.

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Date Created: 10/23/15
Environmental Science 101 Web Based Course A in Resources Lecture Outline Terms You Should Know N 13 AIR POLLUTION Air pollutants Carbon monoxide MODULE 131 The Atmosphere and Air Threshold level Nitrogen oxides Industrial smog Sulfur oxides Pollution Photochemical smog Ozone A39 The Atm here An Temperature Photochemical oxidants Introduction inversion Radon B Background Information About Air Clean Air Act of 1970 Synergistic effect pollution Ambient standards Primary pollutants MODULE 132 MajorAIr Pollutants Suspended particulate Secondary pollutants matter Criteria pollutants 0 SIX PV39UC39Pa39 POIIUtants Volatile organic Clean AirAct of 1990 D Alr TOXICS compounds Catalytic converter MODULE 133 Control Strategies and Troposphere Tropopause Indoor pollution Stratosphere Stratopause Mesosphere Thermosphere E Pollutant Sources and Control Strategies F IndoorAir Pollution Learning Objectives When you are nished with this unit you should be able to Describe the various layers ofthe atmosphere and understand the tem perature gradient within each layer Describe the processes that cause air pollution Trace the origins of industrial smog and photochemical smog Describe the Clean Air Act of1970 and 1990 and how implementation affected air quality Name the six major air pollutants Describe the effects of pollutants on humans crops forests and materi als Analyze the costs and benefits as sociated with air pollution controls Reading Assignment Describe the major sources of indoor Brennan and Mthgott air pollution and compare its impact Chapter 17 pages 4724188 to outdoor air pollution Chapter 17 pages 494500 J l A A DUI I G UNIT 13 AIR RESOURCES 13 AIR POLLUTION MODULE 131 The Atmosphere and Air Pollution A THE ATMOSPHERE AN INTRODUCTION The atmosphere is composed of several layers Diagram of the atmosphere Altitude km Temperature C TROPOSPHERE the lowest layer up to 10 miles 15 km above the Earth39s surface gets colder with increasing altitude contains most of the water vapor in atmosphere pollution can be washed back to the Earth39s surface as precipitation TROPOPAUSE caps the trophosphere STRATOSPHERE layer between 10 and 40 miles 15 to 50 km above the Earth39s surface temperature increases because of OZONE contains the OZONE SHIELD 03 ozone absorbs high energy radiation emitted by the sun MESOSPHERE layer above the stratosphere THERMOSPHERE or CHEMOSPHERE layer above the mesosphere 0 most of our concern is with things happening in the troposphere and stratosphere o 3 major areas of concern B BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT AIR POLLUTION AIR POLLUTANTS substances in the atmosphere that have harmful effects THRESHOLD LEVEL the pollutant level below which no ill effects are observed 0 Effect caused by pollutant depends on Concentration of Pollutant Time of Exposure DOSE concentration X time of exposure Three factors determine the level of air pollution 1 2 Amount of space into which the air pollutants are dispersed 3 Mechanisms that remove pollutants from the air 0 Natural pollutants INDUSTRIAL SMOG grayish mixture of soot sulfurous compounds and water vapor PHOTOCHEMICAL SMOG brownish haze over cities results from sunlight driven chemical reaction among N oxides and hydrocarbons mainly from auto exhausts Certain conditions intensify smog TEMPERATURE INVERSION cooler air below warmer air layer traps smog longterm temperature inversions can result in dangerous conditions AIR POLLUTION DISASTERS 0 Air pollution can also impact plants Clean Air Act of 1970 CAA amended in 1977 and 1990 sets AMBIENT STANDARDS levels that need to be achieved to protect the environment and human hea h Four stages involved in meeting standards 1 2 Tie pollutants to health effects so that a standard may be set 3 4 0 Air quality is better in most large cities today than in the mid1900s MODULE 132 MajorAir Pollutants C SIX PRINCIPAL POLLUTANTS 1 Major Pollutants a Carbon Monoxide CO 0 o Poisonous forms when carbon in fuel is not burned completely 0 Component of motor vehicle emissions 60 of all emissions 0 Particular problem in cities with cold air inversion in winter SPOKANE i CO Trends 0 Transportation still accounts for 77 of emissions b Lead 0 Pb is toxic affects kidneys nervous system other organs o In the past the major source was leaded gasoline i Pb Trends 0 99 decrease due to highway vehicles c Nitrogen Dioxide N02 0 NOx describes N0 and N02 0 Major sources include i NOx Trends d GroundLevel Ozone 03 0 Highly toxic to plants and animals o Formed by reaction of VOCs are emitted from motor vehicles and industrial sources 03 Trends 0 Ozone concentrations decreased 19 between 1988 and 1998 Suspended Particulate Matter SPM 0 Also called the PM 10 standard 0 Dust smoke soot combustion in motor vehicles and power plants 0 In 1997 EPA proposed changing the standard to PM 25 10 i SPM Trends 0 Switch to PM 25 standard would put many cities out of compliance f Sulfur Dioxide 02 0 02 gas is poisonous to plants and animals 0 i SO2 Trends 0 12 decrease in emissions between 1988 and 1997 D AIR TOXICS o Pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects 0 188 air toxics have been identified 0 8100000 tons of air toxics are released into the USA s air each year ll 1 Adverse Effects of Air Pollution on Humans Plants and Materials a Effects on Human Health SYNERGISM 2 2 7 alcohol drugs air pollution disease Chronic effects of pollution Poland has world s worst air Upper Silesia respiratory disease is 47 higher than in rest of country 0 Lead has special interest deadly MODULE 133 Control Strategies and Indoor Pollution E POLLUTANT SOURCES AND CONTROL STRATEGIES 0 Most air pollutants are direct and indirect byproducts of burning 0 With complete combustion but combustion is seldom complete 12 When you burn fuels and wastes 0 At high combustion temperatures N2 0 Coal combustion o Pb is treated separately leaded gasoline 1 Pollutants in the Pacific Northwest SOX N0 x Ozone Portland and Seattle CO PM 10 PM 25 Air Toxics See 1997 trends report at wwwepagovoaraqtrnd97brochuretoxicairhtml 2 Control Strategies 1970 CAA strategy was to regulate air pollution to the point that CRITERIA POLLUTANTS remained below primary standard levels Today 0 Total pollutants have been reduced by 34 while population and economic activity have increased CAA of 1990 addresses failures of the 1970 and 1977 bills targeting specific pollutants more directly a Particulates SMPs 0 Prior to 1970 most SMPs were from open burning of refuse and industrial stacks o Stack emissions reduced by installing filters or electrostatic precipitators WORKED 0 Wood stoves are a major problem 13 14 b Pollutants from Motor Vehicles autos trucks buses CAA of 1970 wanted a 90 reduction in auto emissions by 1975 unrealistic but a 95 reduction occurred between 1970 and 1992 Technology computerized control of fuel mixture and ignition timing CATALYTIC CONVERTER oxidizes VOCs to CO2 H20 oxidizes CO to C02 no NOx control 1990 act emphasizes 1 F 3 Evaluation a The Cost of Controlling Air Pollution 1990 poll 75 of Americans agree that environmental improvements should be made regardless of cost ldahoans o Pollution control costs Health b Future Directions 1970s Los Angeles 1990s Los Angeles 0 Emission free vehicles 0 No BBQ fluids in CA INDOOR AIR POLLUTION Threefold problem 1 Increasing numbers and kinds of products producing hazardous fumes 2 Building better insulated homes pollution traps 3 More exposure to indoor than outdoor pollution average American spends 90 of life indoors 15 1 Sources of Indoor Pollution Formaldehyde and synthetic organic compounds Incomplete combustion and impurities from fuel fired heating systems Fumes from household cleaners Pesticides Aerosol sprays Asbestos Smoking l6 2 Public Policy and Indoor Pollution l7 Environmental Science 101 Web Based Course r Lecture Outline 11 SURFACE WATER POLLUTION MODULE 111 Causes of Eutrophi ca on A Two Kinds oquuatic Plants B Upsetting the Balance by Nutrient Enrichment C Idaho Examples MODULE 112 Preventing Eutrophication D Sources of Sediments E Impacts of Sediments on Streams and Rivers F Sources of Nutrients G Controlling Nutrients and Sediments k N 0 4s 01 9 Learning Objectives When you are nished with this unit you should be able to 1 Describe two categories of aquatic plants and contrast how the bal ance between them is altered by the nutrient content of the water Describe the process of eutrophi cation Describe the Chesapeake Bay story Contrast methods of eutrophica tion control Identify the major sources of sedi ment and discuss control strate gies for each source Identify the major sources of nutri ents leading to eutrophication and discuss control strategies for each source Terms You Should Know Pollution Pollutants BM Ps Eutrophication Chesapeake Bay Turbid Benthic plants Phytoplankton Submerged aquatic vegetation SAV Emergent vegetation Oligotrophic Eutrophic Biochemical Oxygen Demand BOD Cultural eutrophication Aeration Sediments Euphotic zone Advanced sewage treatment Sediment trap N Reading Assignment Brennan and V thgott Chapter 16 pages 429 435 Chapter 7 pages 177 179 J UNIT 11 WATER 11 SURFACE WATER POLLUTION MODULE 111 Causes of Eutrophication THE PROCESS OF EUTROPHICATION EUTROPHICATION process whereby a body of water becomes nutrient rich supporting abundant growth of algae andor other aquatic plants at the surface Deep water becomes oxygen depleted 0 Natural process that takes place over thousands of years A Two Kinds of Aquatic Plants Two distinct life forms of aquatic plants 0 0 BEN THIC PLANTS 0 can be submerged SAV or emerged vegetation 0 These plants thrive in nutrient poor water 0 SAVs need clear water for enough light for photosynthesis o The depth to which adequate light can penetrate is called the EUPHOTIC ZONE in clear water in murky water PHYTOPLANK TON 0 Numerous species of algae microscopic cells or threads 0 Tolerate turbid water actually cause turbidity o Pea green water scum 0 Reach high densities in nutrientrich waters B Upsetting the Balance by Nutrient Enrichment a Oligotrophic Conditions 0 Most ecosystems untouched by man benthic plants thrive to great depth 30 to 60 feet benthic plants aid in maintaining dissolved 02 in deep water 0 Nutrient poor but 02 rich from top to bottom b Eutrophic Conditions 0 0 Nutrient enrichment rapid growth and multiplication of phytoplankton o Turbidity shades out benthic plants 0 Sediments also create turbidity The cycle phytoplankton rapidly multiply decomposers consume 02 to break down dead materials 0 Organic matter additions to water will deplete 02 0 Measure health of system BOD biological oxygen demand BOD to measure what 02 is demanded to break substances down if BOD gt dissolved 02 in water c Natural vs Cultural Eutrophication o Oligotrophic lakes get occasional bursts of phytoplankton growth algal blooms o if humans speed up the process called CULTURAL EUTROPHICATION EXAMPLE Lake Erie d Combatting Eutrophication 2 approaches 1 Attacking the symptoms Chemical treatments herbicides to suppress the growth of unwanted plants Aeration mechanical aeration to add 02 and reduce fishkills Harvesting algae feasible only in small water bodies Controlling inputs 0 Decrease the inputs of nutrients e Chesapeake Bay 0 North America s largest estuary 0 Prior to 1970 it was North America s most productive estuary 1970s seagrasses in the major rivers began to die dramatic by 1975 o Populations of organisms which depended on seagrasses declined 0 Bottom waters in deep areas of the bay became depleted of 02 Why did this happen TURBIDITY murky or cloudy water cutofflight 139 39for39 quot seagrass died 0 Bay fell victim to EUTROPHICATION C Idaho Examples 0 Middle Snake Problems algal blooms 0 Lake Couer d Alene Problems starting to occur Enrichment from sediments from cropland sediments from forest land sediments from construction sites along shore lawns along the shore nutrients


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