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The Atmosphere Chapter 17. 100.1 km Mach 2.9 Watch. What’s In a Breath?. 0.934%. (Ne, He, H 2 , Kr, CH 4 , H 2 S ). 0.036% (a greenhouse gas responsible for planet being warm). <0.03%. 20.916% (allows: burning, rust, respiration). 78.084% (reacts with nothing).

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the atmosphere chapter 17

The AtmosphereChapter 17

100.1 km

Mach 2.9

Watch

what s in a breath
What’s In a Breath?

0.934%

(Ne, He, H2, Kr, CH4, H2S)

0.036% (a greenhouse gas responsible for planet being warm)

<0.03%

20.916% (allows: burning, rust, respiration)

78.084% (reacts with nothing)

thickness of the atmosphere
“Thickness” of the Atmosphere
  • Gases zing about at 950 mph (425 m/sec)
  • Gravity concentrates them near the surface
    • Density decreases upward
    • Boiling water at high elevation
atmospheric pressure
Atmospheric Pressure
  • 1-m Mercury Barometers
    • Inches or mm of mercury
    • 29.92 in = 1 atmosphere (avg) at mean sea level
    • 1 atm ~ 1 bar
    • The weatherman
    • Old men and mercury
  • Aneroid Barometers
temperature in the atmosphere

Little ozone, temperature decreases rapidly

Oxygen  Ozone (heated by Sun, absorbs harmful radiation)

Air too dense to rise beyond tropopause

Temperature in the Atmosphere

Heated directly by high-energy X-rays and UV radiation

Space Ship One

Water vapor, clouds, storms and bad weather (heated by Earth’s radiant heat)

ozone and you
Ozone and You
  • In stratosphere:
    • O2  2O O + O2 O3 (ozone)
    • Ozone very efficient at absorbing UV
  • In troposphere:
    • N2 + O2 + heat  2 NO  …  O3
    • Linked to heart disease, cancer, asthma, loss of lung function
slide8
CFCs
  • 1970s, used in almost all refrigerators, air conditioners, propellants in aerosol cans
  • Stable
  • Work their way

Into atmosphere and

Destroy ozone

Come Back!

the ozone hole
The Ozone Hole
  • Not literally a “hole”—more like a male pattern baldness
other pollutants
Other Pollutants
  • Donora, PA
    • 27-31 October 1948
    • Smog settled over city
      • Sulfuric acid, nitrogen dioxide, fluorine trapped in valley by stagnant air
      • 20 dead, 800 animals  respiratory illnesses
      • Plants dead in half-mile radius of steel, zinc works
      • 1/3 of town’s 14,000 people were sick

Donora at noon, Oct. 29, 1948

clean air act of 1970
Clean Air Act of 1970
  • Amendment to CAA of ’63

Smog over Shanghai

Primary Standards to protect “sensitive” groups: elderly, children, ashtmatics

Secondary Standards to protect against decreased visibility, damage to animals, vegetation, crops, and buildings

Superscripts=exceptions

1/y

advancing the clean air act
Advancing the Clean Air Act
  • 1970 Amendments:
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine the limit of industrial pollutants
    • Controlling auto emissions by 90%
  • 1990 Amendments:
    • Contributors to ozone depletion phased out
    • Rules on toxic waste and acid rain
the burning of hydrocarbons
The Burning of Hydrocarbons
  • Form CO2 and/or water during burning
impurities and incomplete burning
Impurities and Incomplete Burning
  • Benzene, methane (CH4), carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NO2)
  • Mercury in rivers near Kittanning, PA:
    • Fish at 3.1-19x concentration of mercury than store-bought
    • Mercury linked to neurological disorders
    • 5-8x EPA’s acceptable risk depending on age
  • Minamata Disease

Actually, the plant in Seward, PA

acid rain
Acid Rain
  • In moist air, you get sulfuric and nitric acids which dissolve in water vapor, fall as rain
  • pH  7.0 (neutral)
    • Normal rain pH ~5.7 due to CO2
    • 1986, in southern CA a fog reached pH = 1.7
acid rain1
Acid Rain
  • Too weak to irritate human skin but is devastating to delicate organisms and rock
    • Damages mountain forests
      • Germany 1982-1995: 8% unhealthy to 50% SICK
    • Acidifies lakes causing massive fish kills

Acid-rain on forest in Jizera mountains of Czeck Repulic

Actually, acid-mine drainage (this is extreme limit)

slide17
Rapidly weathers stone monuments
  • U.S. several billion $/yr repairing damage
other toxic volatiles
Other Toxic Volatiles
  • Chemicals that readily evaporate into air
    • Pesticides – some is carried off by wind
    • Dioxin – formed in backyard burn barrels or wherever plastic polyvinyl chloride is burned
      • Gets into grass, ruminants
      • We eat meat: 0.0000000001 g/day
      • EPA: “at or near levels associated with adverse health effects”
      • Could cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive and immune disorders

V child, blamed on Agent Orange

particulates and aerosols
Particulates and Aerosols
  • Particulate: Small pieces of solid matter
  • Aerosols: Small particles suspended in air
    • Fly ash: Smoke, soot, clay/stuff that can’t burn