ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND POLLUTION
AIR AND AIR POLLUTION
Questions to Ponder:
1. Briefly describe the structure of the atmosphere being sure to include troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and the boundaries between each set of layers. Summarize ways in which humans disrupt Earth's major gaseous nutrient cycles.
2. Distinguish between primary pollutant and secondary pollutant; stationary source and mobile source; photochemical smog and industrial smog. List eight major classes of primary outdoor pollutants. Describe how smog is formed. Describe a thermal inversion and conditions under which it is most likely to occur.
3. Define acid deposition. Identify the level of risk that acid deposition creates for ecological systems and for human health. Give one example of the complexities of interactions which can be set in motion by acid deposition. List six strategies to prevent acid deposition.
4. Compare the risks of indoor and outdoor air pollution. List the four most dangerous indoor air pollutants, the potential health effects of each, and strategies for dealing with each.
5. Briefly describe how air pollution affects human health, plants, aquatic life, and materials.
6. Summarize the Clean Air Act. List six criticisms that environmentalists make about the Clean Air Act. Summarize the controversy over the stricter particle emission standards in the United States.
7. List eight prevention strategies and three cleanup strategies to reduce emission from motor vehicles. List six prevention strategies and six cleanup strategies to reduce indoor air pollution.
8. Visualize an integrated picture puzzle of a healthy sustaining atmosphere. Describe as many pieces of the puzzle as you can.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND OZONE LOSS
1. Describe the greenhouse effect and what the Earth would be like without a greenhouse effect. List the two predominant greenhouse gases. List four greenhouse gases which have risen in the last few decades. List four human activities which contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Distinguish between greenhouse effect and global warming.
2. Describe the general trend of mean global temperature since 1860. List two factors other than the greenhouse effect that may have contributed to the general temperature change. State the consensus science view about the relationship between observed temperature changes and the likelihood of global climate change brought on by human activities.
3. Briefly describe projections of the major climate models regarding changes in mean surface temperature and average sea level. List eight important factors that lend considerable uncertainty to climate models and their projections.
4. State the range of temperature change which could cause real damage to ecosystems. Explain why a range so seemingly small can have such major consequences. Summarize the projections of possible effects of global warming on (a) food production, (b) water supplies, (c) forests, (d) biodiversity, (e) sea levels, (f) weather extremes, (g) human health, and (h) environmental refugees.
5. Describe three schools of thought about global warming and how we as a human society should act. List seven strategies which would slow potential global warming, including both prevention and cleanup approaches.
6. Describe the origin of stratospheric ozone and the role it plays in protecting life on Earth. Briefly describe changes which have been occurring in stratospheric ozone.
7. Describe the scientific work on CFCs and their relationship to ozone. Describe the political response to the scientific information. Summarize the consensus science view of CFCs and stratospheric ozone. Summarize alternative views that have received much attention. Explain the significance of a critically thinking citizenry to the democratic process.
8. Explain the potential consequences of ozone depletion. Propose three ways for slowing these changes.
Ch 17 Key Terms:
atmosphere (p. 419)
Ch 18 Key Terms
global warming (p. 450)