Atmospheric Pollution As I had started my research on atmospheric pollution, I had come to find that it all coincides with global warming. Due to the gases that are being released in the air from vehicles, it starts to destroy the atmosphere. However, it is not just the gases from the vehicles, there are also gases from power plants and aerosol cans, for example, hairspray. Smokers also contribute to the pollution in the atmosphere. All of this will be discussed further into the paper. The one thing that was asked was to give a detailed description of the problem.
Coming up with a detailed description was not a problem but difficult and time consuming. I have come up with a number of problems that atmospheric pollution, or global warming, has on people, animals and the world. Map Results I have found a map that shows the locations where there is air pollution. On this map, there are images of blue, purple and red dots. These dots represent the U. S. Industrial facilities that use toxic chemicals. The city and states with a high count of toxic usage had the blue and red dots next to them.
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These city and states are as follows: Phoenix, Arizona, Salt Lake City, Utah, San Diego, California, Los Angeles, California, Riverside, California, Bakersfield, California, San Francisco, California, Stockton, California, Sacramento, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle Washington. There are 34 city and states including Canada that are highlighted in purple. I find that this type of pollution is worse for the atmosphere than the typical types of pollutants. Toxic pollution can, will, and has already started to destroy the atmosphere. This is also more harmful on humans and animals.
Pollution Changing the Weather Pollution is in the process of changing our weather drastic enough for everyone to feel and notice. For starters, the atmospheric pollution is changing the southern hemisphere’s oceanic circulation. This is also causing weather systems in mid-latitude regions to migrate southward. Airborne particles, such as aerosols, cool the northern hemisphere’s ocean surface. The process that I have noticed that is taking place is that the north is beginning to become warmer where the south is becoming cooler. This also increases heat from the southern hemisphere oceans to the northern hemisphere oceans.
All of these problems with weather is not just happening in the United States and Canada, but across the world. Greenland On August 21, 2008, scientists had made a huge discovery. Scientists had seemed to think that Northern Greenland would be immuned from global warming. They had received new satellite images that show a giant crack on Greenland. This crack has measured out to be an 11 square mile chunk of ice hemorrhaging off of a major glacier. To better explain the size of this crack, it has said to be about half the size of Manhattan. This crack is seven miles long and about a half a mile wide.
This equals to be about half the width of a 500 square mile floating part of the glacier. All of this happened between July 10 and July 24 of 2008. Scientists predict disintegration of a major portion of the northern hemisphere’s largest floating glacier with in a year. They say that if this worsens, Greenland glaciers could speed up the sea level rise. Air pollution and global warming does not just cause a problem for Greenland, but for other areas further north. The air pollution is at the start of causing major problems not just for the northern parts of the world but for the entire world.
Polar Bears in Alaska In Anchorage, Alaska, the federal wildlife monitors spotted nine polar bears in one day swimming in open ocean off of Alaska’s northwest coast. The environmental groups state “The event is a strong signal that diminished sea ice has been brought on by global warming. ” Set aside from the problems with the rapid production of melting ice and lands, this also has a major affect on the polar bears in Alaska. “This is putting the polar bears at risk of drowning or dying from the effects of fatigue”, states the environmental groups.
Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity states, “The impact of global warming is brutal and tragic for polar bears. The only way to limit the number of bears that will drown and starve is to reduce greenhouse gas pollution immediately. ” Records had shown that in the summer of 2007, the sea ice had shrunk to a record low. This record low occurred in September. This had become 1. 65 million square miles. The conservation groups have stressed a major fear. This fear is that one consequence of less ice will be more energy-sapping, long distant swims by polar bears trying to reach feeding, mating or dinning areas.
Because of this major global warming problem, the polar bears have become threaten species. The more we pollute the atmosphere, the more animals that will be put in harms way or even become distinct. How Smoking Contributes to Pollution Smoking helps to contribute to the air pollution. Scientists think that the trace of carbon dioxide and other pollutants in cigarette smoke have, at most, a negligible effect on the climate. “It might even counteract global warming by an equally minuscule amount, because the white particulate matter in smoke would reflect some of the sun’s energy, thereby minimizing heat”, John M Wallace theorizes.
Many people would think that growing tobacco is the same as if a person were to grow a basic plant or crops. Unfortunately, growing tobacco puts a serious hit on the environment. A tobacco plant absorbs six times as much potassium from the soil as most crops do. Undeveloped nations grow tobacco until the soil is useless. Once the soil becomes useless, they will cut down trees and forests to gain fresh soil. In some of the areas, 600 million trees are cut down to burn, dried and cure tobacco leaves. Due to the trees and forests being cut down, the planet is losing this many carbon dioxide absorbing trees.
This leaves at least 22 million net tons of CO2 in the atmosphere. This is equivalent to 2. 8 billion gallons of gasoline. Not having the trees to help absorb the carbon dioxide, gases will continue to linger and sit in the atmosphere until there will be no more atmosphere. Many people would think that the gases that smoking release is what destroy the atmosphere. It does help contribute to that, but the majority of the pollution comes from the production of tobacco plants. Motor Vehicle Emissions Air pollution comes from many different sources. Unfortunately, pollution from vehicles causes two of our worst air pollution problems.
These two major problems consist of smog, or ground level ozone, and carbon monoxide. The ozone is a colorless gas. It is composed of three oxygen atoms linked together. When it is found in the upper atmosphere, it becomes a natural barrier to the harmful rays of the sun. At ground level, it can be harmful to the health of humans, animals and plants. The problems that occur to the ozone also cause problems for the people. When the levels become high, people should limit themselves with the time that they spend outdoors. It is especially dangerous for a person that has health problems like asthma and other respiratory problems.
The United States, in my mind, had come to a start to clean up vehicle emissions. The majority of the states had come up with a solution to help reduce the emissions from tractor trailers. Most truck stops are equipped with a system known as “Idle Aire”. This allows trucks to be able park for the day or night with out having to run their trucks. Idle Aire provides heat, air conditioning, television, the Internet and even has a telephone connection. Of course it cost money to hook up and run, but it makes it quieter, safer and cleaner. Power Plants
Just like vehicle emissions, power plants cause more problems with humans as it does with the ozone. The emissions from power plants are tied to thousands of early deaths. Nearly 24,000 lives are shortened a year due to aging coal- fired power plants. 2,800 are from lung cancer. According to a study that was released in 2004, 22,000 of the deaths were preventable. The Bush administration was criticized for trying to change existing clean air laws. “The Bush air pollution plan represents a step backwards from simply enforcing currant laws”, states Angela Ledford, director of Clean the Air.
They also claimed that it would result in nearly 4,000 more deaths a year. The University of Maryland scientists had conducted a separate, but related study. These scientists had reported that the skies had become dramatically cleaner when the power plants had to shut down during the August 2003 blackout. The measurement found a 90 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide. (This gas leads to haze and acid rain. ) There was also a 50 percent reduction in smog or ground level ozone. These studies should help the government come up with a plan that would reduce the amount of pollution that come from the power plants.
So far, I have discussed air pollution or global warming caused from humans. Global warming is also caused from non human errors. There are two main sources that I will be discussing that are not related to human error. These two sources will be volcanic gases and wildfires. Volcanic gases As we are all aware, volcanoes cause a concern for the people and properties or hometowns. There are gases that are released during an eruption. These gases are dangerous for human and animal health. What many people do not know is that ash from an eruption also has its dangers. Ash fall makes it difficult to travel.
It also does damage to roofs as well. These structures are due to the acidic effects and the weight of the ash. The other problem is that when the ash is released, the clouds of the ash are carried by the wind. The ash often reaches high up to the atmosphere. Because of this, it shows up on satellite images. Ash also contaminates the water. This affects the people, farm and other domestic animals and pets. There are nine different gases that get released during an eruption. These gases are as follows: Carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen gas, methane and SiF4.
Some of these gases are carried away by ash particles. Others will form salts and aerosols. These gases are produced when water is heated by magma. Forest Fires Are forest fires really a factor with global warming? Many people would probably say yes. After my research I would have to say that the people are only partially right. New studies find that forest fires are actually useful to combat global warming. Yes, forest fires do release greenhouse gases. The release of greenhouse gases, as the people know, does contribute to global warming. The cooling phase of forest fires helps to change the gases being released.
James Randerson, an associate professor of earth science at the University of California-Irvine and lead author states, “This cooling effect cancels the impact of greenhouse gases, so the net effect of the fire is close to neutral when averaged globally and in northern regions may lead to slightly colder temperatures. ” Still today, James Randerson and associates are still researching the greenhouse gases and emissions. Conclusion My conclusion to the entire research is that if we, the people, do not change our life style, our futures may turn out slimmer than what many people would have hoped for.
Besides the natural pollution, human error is hurting every living thing on the earth. Polar bears are suffering for survival, Greenland is losing its island and the people are losing their choice to survive. Everybody needs to make sacrifices in their life. This would be the largest sacrifice to make and it would be worth it in our futures. Resources Mapecos. org Weather. com, Forecast Earth, At top of Greenland, new worrisome cracks in the ice, Seth Bernstein (August 22, 2008) Weather. om, Observers spot nine polar bears in open ocean, Dan Joling (August 22, 2008) Gale Power Search, Pollution changing the weather, Ecos 142 (April-May 2008) p. 32, Magazine/Journal, CSIRO Publishing Popsci. com, Does Smoking Contribute to Global Warming? Matt Cokely (June 5, 2008) Deq. state. la. us, Motor vehicle emission and air pollution, DEQ Louisiana Msnbc. com, Deadly power plants? Study fuels debate, MSNBC staff and news service reports (June 9, 2004) Ew. govt. nz, volcanic activity Scrippsnew. com, Studies find forest fires useful to combat global warming, Lee Bowman (November 21, 2006)