Environmental Problems

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First part of Information is listed below and the rest are in images, along with the questions.

Section 1 Introduction: Air Pollution

The air we breathe plays an important role in maintaining all life on Earth. For example, the atmosphere is a major part of the water cycle. It refills rivers and lakes with fresh water from precipitation. In addition, the atmosphere provides organisms with the gases needed for life. It contains oxygen needed for cellular respiration and carbon dioxide needed for photosynthesis. It also contains nitrogen needed for proteins and nucleic acids.

Earth’s atmosphere is vast. However, it has been seriously polluted. Air pollution consists of chemical substances and particles released into the atmosphere, mainly by human actions.

Outdoor Air Pollution

The major cause of outdoor air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are burned in power plants, factories, motor vehicles, and home heating systems. Ranching and using chemicals such as fertilizers also cause outdoor air pollution. Erosion of soil in farm fields, mining activities, and construction sites adds dust particles to the air as well. Some specific outdoor air pollutants are described in the table below.

Pollutants in outdoor air

Air Pollutant

Source

Problem

Sulfur oxides

coal burning

acid rain

Nitrogen oxides

motor vehicle exhaust

acid rain

Carbon monoxide

motor vehicle exhaust

poisoning

Carbon dioxide

all fossil fuel burning

global climate change

Particles (dust, smoke)

wood and coal burning

respiratory problems

Mercury

coal burning

nerve poisoning

Smog

coal burning

respiratory problems

Ground-level ozone

motor vehicle exhaust

respiratory problems

Health Effects of Outdoor Air Pollution

Outdoor air pollution causes serious human health problems. For example, pollutants in the air are major contributors to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Air pollution may trigger asthma attacks and heart attacks in people with underlying health problems. In fact, more people die each year from air pollution than automobile accidents.

Acid Rain

Air pollution may also cause acid rain. This is rain that is more acidic (has a lower pH) than normal rain. Acids form in the atmosphere when nitrogen and sulfur oxides mix with water in air. Nitrogen and sulfur oxides come mainly from motor vehicle exhaust and coal burning.

If acid rain falls into lakes, it lowers the pH of the water and may kill aquatic organisms. If it falls on the ground, it may damage soil and soil organisms. If it falls on plants, it may make them sick or even kill them. Acid rain also damages stone buildings, bridges, and statues, like the one in the picture below.

This stone statue has been dissolved by acid rain.

Global Climate Change

Another major problem caused by air pollution is global climate change. Gases such as carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels increase the greenhouse effect and raise Earth’s temperature.

The greenhouse effect is a natural feature of Earth’s atmosphere. It occurs when certain gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, radiate the sun’s heat back down to Earth’s surface. The Greenhouse Effect chart below illustrates how this happens. Without greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the heat would escape into space. The natural greenhouse effect of Earth’s atmosphere keeps the planet’s temperature within a range that can support life.

The rise in greenhouse gases due to human actions is too much of a good thing. It increases the greenhouse effect and causes Earth’s average temperature to rise. Rising global temperatures, in turn, are melting polar ice caps and glaciers. The Arctic image below shows how much smaller the Arctic ice cap was in 2012 than it was in 1984. With more liquid water on Earth’s surface, sea levels are rising.

Earth’s atmosphere creates a natural greenhouse effect that moderates Earth’s atmosphere.

Shrinking of the Arctic ice cap due to global warming contributes to rising sea levels.

Adding more heat energy to Earth’s atmosphere also causes more extreme weather and changes in precipitation patterns. Global warming is already causing food and water shortages and species extinctions. These problems will only grow worse unless steps are taken to curb greenhouse gases and global climate change.

Indoor Air Pollution

You may be able to avoid some of the health effects of outdoor air pollution by staying indoors on high-pollution days. However, some indoor air is just as polluted as outdoor air.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

One source of indoor air pollution is radon gas. Radon is a radioactive gas that may seep into buildings from rocks underground. Exposure to radon gas may cause lung cancer. Another potential poison in indoor air is carbon monoxide. It may be released by faulty or poorly vented furnaces or other fuel-burning appliances. Indoor furniture, carpets, and paints may release toxic compounds into the air as well. Other possible sources of indoor air pollution include dust, mold, and pet dander.

Controlling Indoor Air Pollution

It’s easier to control the quality of indoor air than outdoor air. Steps home owners can take to improve indoor air quality include:

  • keeping the home clean so it is as free as possible from dust, mold, and pet dander.
  • choosing indoor furniture, flooring, and paints that are low in toxic compounds such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
  • making sure that fuel-burning appliances are working correctly and venting properly.
  • installing carbon monoxide alarms like the one shown below at every level of the home.

Section 1 Summary

  • Air pollution consists of chemical substances and particles released into the atmosphere, mainly by human actions. Both outdoor and indoor air may be polluted, but indoor air pollution is easier to control
  • The main cause of outdoor air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels. Outdoor air pollution causes human health problems, acid rain, and global climate change.
  • There are many possible sources of indoor air pollution, including radon gas, fuel-burning appliances, and mold. Home owners can take several steps to improve the quality of indoor air.

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Explanation & Answer

1.Causes of outside air contamination. Burning fossil exhaust, Ranching, Fertilizers, Mining exercises, Soil disintegration. 2.Acid downpour, or corrosive testimony, is an expansive term that incorporates any precipitation with acidic segments, for example, sulfuric or nitric destructive that tumble to the ground from the climate in wet or dry structures. a. Burning of non-renewable energy sources to produce power. b. Vehicles and overwhelming gear. c. Manufacturing, oil refineries, and different businesses. Corrosive downpour ferments the dirt’s and waters where it falls, killing plants and creatures. Surface water fermentation can prompt a decrease in, and loss of, fish populaces and other oceanic species including frogs, snails, and crawfish. Corrosive downpour influences trees, typically by debilitating them through harm to their leaves. Particular kinds of structure stone can be broken up in an acidic downpour. 3. Greenhouse impact, warming of Earth's surface and troposphere brought about by the nearness of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and certain different gases noticeable all around. Of those gases, known as ozone-depleting substances, water vapor has the biggest impact. The environment permits the greater part of the noticeable light from the Sun to go through and achieve Earth's surface. As Earth's surface is warmed by daylight, it emanates some portion of this vitality back toward space as infrared radiation. This radiation, in contrast to noticeable light, will, in general, be consumed by the ozone-depleting substances in the environment, raising its temperature. The warmed air like this emanates infrared radiation back toward Earth's surface. a. Source control b. Improved ventilation c. Air cleaners 4. Human exercises add to environmental change by causing changes in Earth's climate in the measures of ozone-depleting substances, mist concentrates and darkness. The biggest realized commitment originates from the consuming of petroleum derivatives, which discharges carbon dioxide gas to the environment. Ozone-depleting substances and pressurized canned products influence the atmosphere by modifying approaching sun-powered radiation and outgoing infrared radiation that are a piece of Earth's vitality balance. Changing the barometrical wealth or properties of these gases and particles can prompt warming or cooling of the atmosphere framework. 5.A. dumping of mechanical waste; B. due to temperature rise, C. deforestation, D. pesticides use B. Contaminants, for example, synthetic compounds, supplements, and solid metals are conveyed from ranches, production lines, and urban areas by streams and waterways into our coves and inlets; from that point, they head out to the ocean. In the meantime, marine garbage—especially plastic—is passed up the breeze or washed in through tempest channels and sewers. 7. Dead zones are territories of vast waterways ordinarily that do not have enough oxygen to help marine life. Nitrogen and phosphorous from rural overflow are the essential guilty parties. However, sewage, vehicular and mechanical outflows, and even common factors additionally assume a job in the improvement of no man's lands. They far and wide, however basically adjacent regions where overwhelming farming and modern movement spill...


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