Our Changing Atmosphere

Air Pollution
Airborne Bad things with adverse health effects to humans, plants, buildings, environment
Two main types of air pollution sources
Point Source – smoke stack emissions, tailpipe emissions, volcano
non point source – methane from farms, dust from dry areas
anthropogenic source
smokestack, tailpipe, airplane, dust from construction site
natural source
methane from farms, dust from a sand dune, volcano, smoke from a wildfire
primary pollutants in order
carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur oxides
primary pollutant sources in order
transportation, stationary fuel combustion, industrial processes
sources of pollution
primary – directly into atmosphere
secondary – pollutant has changed due to chemical reaction (acid rain)
sources of major air pollutants
CO-combustion of fossil fuels
SO2-sulfur fossil fuels
NOx-air in combustion chamber
Ozone-bad near ground, good in stratosphere
VOCs
Particulate matter
london smog characteristics
old, SO2 (sooty), H2SO4 secondary, cool, high relative humidity, dark, peaks early morning,
radiation inversion
la smog
primary-organics NOx, secondary-ozone, warm, low relative humidity, bright sunlight, afternoon, overhead subsidence inversion
inversion
traps air, traps pollution, easier at night than day
pollution and wind
wind dilutes pollution concentration, good for locals, bad-hard to pin location of pollution
smokestack plumes
stable air-no vertical motion, stagnant or horizontal, fanning
low alt. unstable air – fumigatio, spreads below inversion layer
unstable- goes wherever, usually looping due to waves in air
denver
visibility limited by particulate matter, other pollution is invisible
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