Europe’s Environmental Issues. Essential Question. How has Europe dealt with the major environmental issues of acid rain, air pollution, and nuclear disaster?. Many of the world’s largest and most industrialized countries are in Europe. Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam
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Essential Question • How has Europe dealt with the major environmental issues of acid rain, air pollution, and nuclear disaster?
Many of the world’s largest and most industrialized countries are in Europe. • Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam • These cities tend to have lots of factories, lots of traffic, and produce a lot of air pollution. Air Pollution
Air Pollution • Factories and power plants pump pollutants into Europe’s atmosphere. • The country with the worst air pollution in Europe is the UNITED KINGDOM.
London, capital of UK, is famous for air pollution • Word “smog”first used in 1905 to describe air in London (thick fog + smoke) Air Pollution in the United Kingdom
Smog was so dense that for 4 days people in London could not see what was in front of them. • Transportation slowed, crime increased, & thousands of people died from the pollution • People around the world became frightened & worried about the quality of the air they were breathing The Great Smog of 1952
In the past, the major source was smoke (CO2) from burning coal (factories) • Today, exhaust from cars & buses are also the sources Sources of Air Pollution
Asthma and pneumonia are linked to vehicle emissions • Burns the lungs, nose, and eyes, and endangers human life • High air pollution keeps children & senior citizens indoors • Blackens buildings & harms wildlife Effects of Air Pollution
Acid Rain • The country with the worst acid rain in Europe is GERMANY.
What is Acid Rain? • Air Pollution leads to health problems, and can affect the environment through ACID RAIN. • Acid rain is caused by factories and car exhaust. • The pollution gets into the clouds and causes the rain to be acidic.
Acid rain is a result of air pollution. When any type of fuel burns, lots of different chemicalsare produced and released into the air and mix with water in the clouds. • The rain from these clouds then falls as very weak acid. • It’s not acidic enough to burn your skin, but it’s very harmful for the environment. What is Acid Rain?
Main source of acid rain is smoke from factories(burning fuels like natural gas, coal, & oil) • Germany is a top manufacturing country—leads the world in cars, steel, & chemical products—so it depends on these factories • Cars & buses also produce harmful gases. • Germans own more cars than people of most other countries do Germany is Its Own Worst Enemy…
Acid rain has destroyed nearly half of the Black Forest! • This has really harmed Germany’s economy because timber is an important export. It brings in millions of dollars to Germany. The timber business provides jobs. • No forest? No jobs. No jobs? Poor economy. Acid Rain in Germany
Acid rain is also harmful to • plant life • aquatic animals • humans (cancer) • buildings and statues (eroded). Acid Rain in Germany
In Western Europe, nations are trying to lessen pollution. • They are spending money and researching new ways to produce power that cause less environmental damage. • In Eastern Europe, few nations are researching new technologies • They have less money European Environmental Policies
European Environmental Policies • Governments are also researching alternative fuel sources for cars which would lessen air pollution and acid rain. • Rather than being made of oil, these fuels come from plant soil.
European Union • Most countries in Europe are members of a group called the European Union. • Since its formation in 1993, the EU has passed policiesdesigned to fight acid rain, improve air quality, restrict toxic waste, and reduce pollution.
The Chernobyl Accident26 April 1986 http://library.thinkquest.org/20331/images/chernsite.jpg
Where is Chernobyl? -In Northern Ukraine -10 miles away from Belarus -80 miles North of Kiev http://students.vassar.edu/mezegen/Eastern%20Europe%20Map.gif http://studiohousebooks.co.uk/chernobyl/Chernobyl/chernobyl.html
In 1986 the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station experienced a disaster. • One of the nuclear reactors exploded. • Radioactive material entered the water, soil, and air. • The pollution traveled to other countries in Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Chernobyl, Ukraine
Immediate Impact - 203 people were hospitalized immediately. 31 of them eventually died. Most of these people were workers in the plant or local firefighters. - NW winds from the Black Sea carried the radiation for miles in the following days. Scandinavian detectors picked up on the abundance of radiation, but the Soviet government denied everything. http://www.cmc.ec.gc.ca/~arqidor/ctbto/ctbt3.html
West and Northwest Winds carried radiation http://www.ki4u.com/potassium-iodide.htm http://www.metoffice.com/environment/serv4.html
The Clean Up • “Liquidators” • These were firemen who helped put out the fires and helped clean up the radiation • Most did not realize the dangers of radiation. • Many later died from radiation, because they didn’t wear protection. • An estimated 8,000-20,000 to date have died • Robots • United States supplied • Specifically designed to enter reactor core and help build the sarcophagus http://www.chernobyl-international.com/aboutchernobyl/fateoftheliquidators.asp http://er1.org/docs/photos/Disaster/Chernobyl%2002%20robotic%20inspector.jpg
Clean Up Approximately 300,000 to 600,000 liquidators were involved in the cleanup of the 30 km evacuation zone around the plant in the years following the meltdown. http://library.thinkquest.org/3426/data/emergency/cleanup.efforts.html
-Following the accident hundreds of thousands of people had to be evacuated and between 1990 and 1995 an additional 210,000 people were resettled. Evacuation http://library.thinkquest.org/3426/data/emergency/evacuation.html
Containment • Cement buildings built in the months after disaster • 5,000 tons ofsand thrown on top of reactor core http://www.greenpeace.org.ar/energiapositiva/img/fotos/chernobyl.jpg
AfterChernobyl http://studiohousebooks.co.uk/chernobyl/Chernobyl/chernobyl.html http://fme.sincerethought.org/gallery/album10/wtc_6
The Children of Ukraine • Children were much more affected by Chernobyl and the radiation, due to their weaker immune systems. • 1991-1992--sickness rate among children almost tripled • Threat to gene pool—fewer children being born. • The following problems have increased in children: • heart and circulatory diseases, malignant tumors, and disorders of the nervous system, sensory organs, of the bone, muscle and connective tissue system http://studiohousebooks.co.uk/chernobyl/Pictures/pictures.html http://studiohousebooks.co.uk/chernobyl/Chernobyl/chernobyl.html
It is estimated that 1 out of every 4 infants will develop thyroid abnormalities. • The normal rate of thyroid cancer would be only one in 1 million. • In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, had the authorities supplied the children with preventive potassium iodine, it would have prevented many of the thyroid cancer cases. Children cont’d
The thyroid gland is the most vulnerable organ to radiation in the human body. • Normally, this is a rare disease, with only 1 case per year being reported in Belarus before the Chernobyl accident. • Thyroid cancer can take 10-30 years to show it’s effects. Thyroid cancer • There has been a 2,400% increase in the rates of thyroid cancer in Belarus since 1986. • In the Homyel region of Belarus, the region closest to Chernobyl, there has been a 100-fold increase in thyroid cancer. http://www.chernobyl-international.com/aboutchernobyl/thyroidcancer.asp
Other problems… • Food & Water • Milk—Farmers have to watch the radiation level in milk. • Fish—Cannot be eaten, as water absorbs radiation and fats concentrate it • Radioactive Floods every spring • Lives ruined • Suicide and depression • Even healthy people were traumatized http://www.spacedaily.com/images/chernobyl-airview-bg.jpg http://library.thinkquest.org/3426/data/local-effects/agriculture.effects.html
Chernobyl Today • The plant has been shut down by Ukraine. • The cement building is falling apart, due to the quick emergency construction of it. • The UN estimates that up to 9 million people have been affected directly or indirectly by the fallout. • The full consequences will not be seen for at least another 50 years. • http://rt.com/news/nuclear-troubles-echoes-plant/ www.calguard.ca.gov/ ia/Chernobyl-15%20years.htm www.balticuniv.uu.se/ space/catch_news27.shtml