Acid Rain : Ouch !

Acid rain? What is that?

Acid rain is a rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, i.e. elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). It can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure through the process of wet deposition. Acid rain is caused by emissions of compounds of ammonium, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids. Acid rain is a product of air pollution.

What is the cause of acid rain?

Acid rain is caused by a chemical reaction that begins when compounds like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These substances can rise very high into the atmosphere, where they mix and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form more acidic pollutants, known as acid rain. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides dissolve very easily in water and can be carried very far by the wind. As a result, the two compounds can travel long distances where they become part of the rain, sleet, snow, and fog that we experience on certain days.

Human activities are the main cause of acid rain. Over the past few decades, humans have released so many different chemicals into the air that they have changed the mix of gases in the atmosphere. Power plants release the majority of sulfur dioxide and much of the nitrogen oxides when they burn fossil fuels, such as coal, to produce electricity. In addition, the exhaust from cars, trucks, and buses releases nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide into the air. These pollutants cause acid rain.

* Stop air pollution, Stop acid rain !

Ozone Layer Depletion

what is ozone layer?

The ozone layer is a deep layer in the stratosphere, encircling the Earth, that has large amounts of ozone in it. Ozone is the layer of gas that forms a protective covering in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Ozone is formed when oxygen molecules absorb ultraviolet photons and undergo a chemical reaction known as photo dissociation or photolysis, where a single molecule of oxygen breaks down to two oxygen atoms. The free oxygen atom (O), then combines with an oxygen molecule (O2) and forms a molecule of ozone (O3). The ozone molecules, in turn absorb ultraviolet rays between 310 to 200 nm wavelength and thereby prevent these harmful radiations from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. In the process, ozone molecules split up into a molecule of oxygen and an oxygen atom. The oxygen atom (O) again combines with the oxygen molecule (O2) to regenerate an ozone (O3) molecule. Thus, the total amount of ozone is maintained by this continuous process of destruction and regeneration.
The ozone layer protects the Earth from the ultraviolet rays sent down by the sun. If the ozone layer is depleted by human action, the effects on the planet could be catastrophic.

What is ozone layer depletion?

Ozone layer depletion is destruction of the upper atmospheric layer of ozone gas, caused by substances formed from breakdown of ozone depleting substances. The main cause of this is the release of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC).

Why ozone layer is so important?

If you are wondering why is the ozone layer important, then the answer lies in the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. The ozone layer is responsible for absorbing the ultraviolet rays and thereby preventing them from passing through the atmosphere of Earth. Ultraviolet rays of the Sun are associated with a number of health related and environmental issues. The most important of these is the association between ultraviolet rays and an increased risk of developing several types of skin cancers including malignant melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Even the incidents of cortical cataracts can also increase significantly with the increased exposure to ultraviolet rays.

Pollutions : OH NO !

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies, or naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when they exceed natural levels. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution.

There are a few types of pollutions;

a) water pollution

-Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies (e.g. lakes, rivers, oceans, groundwater).
Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water; and, in almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities. Water pollution occurs when pollutants are discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

b) air pollution

-Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or damages the natural environment into the atmosphere.
The atmosphere is a complex dynamic natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has long been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth’s ecosystems.

c) noise pollution

-Noise pollution (or environmental noise) is displeasing human, animal or machine-created sound that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life. The word noise comes from the Latin word nauseas meaning seasickness.
The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is mainly construction and transportation systems, including motor vehicle noise, aircraft noise and rail noise. Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, since side-by-side industrial and residential buildings can result in noise pollution in the residential area.
Indoor and outdoor noise pollution sources include car alarms, emergency service sirens, mechanical equipment, fireworks, compressed air horns, groundskeeping equipment, barking dogs, appliances, lighting hum, audio entertainment systems, electric megaphones, and loud people.

* All these pollutions can cause harmful effects to living things including humans

Greenhouse Effects

The greenhouse effect is connected to the global warming.

What is greenhouse effect?

The greenhouse effect is a process by which radiative energy leaving a planetary surface is absorbed by some atmospheric gases, called greenhouse gases. They transfer this energy to other components of the atmosphere, and it is re-radiated in all directions, including back down towards the surface. This transfers energy to the surface and lower atmosphere, so the temperature there is higher than it would be if direct heating by solar radiation were the only warming mechanism.

In other way, greenhouse effect is when the temperature rises because the sun’s heat and light is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. This is like when heat is trapped in a car. On a very hot day, the car gets hotter when it is out in the parking lot. This is because the heat and light from the sun can get into the car, by going through the windows, but it can’t get back out. This is what the greenhouse effect does to the earth. The heat and light can get through the atmosphere, but it can’t get out. As a result, the temperature rises.

What are the greenhouse gasses?

By their percentage contribution to the greenhouse effect on Earth the four major gases are:

* water vapor, 36–70%
* carbon dioxide, 9–26%
* methane, 4–9%
* ozone, 3–7%

The major non-gas contributor to the Earth’s greenhouse effect, clouds, also absorb and emit infrared radiation and thus have an effect on radiative properties of the atmosphere.

What are the cause of greenhouse effect?

One of the man-made causes of the Green House effect is deforestation. Deforestation increases the amount of carbon-di-oxide in the atmosphere. Also, due to the disappearance of trees, photosythesis cannot take place. Deforestation causes of the greenhouse effect. Deforestation is rampant today due to the increase in human civilisation. The levels of deforestation have increased by about nine percent in recent times. Also, the burning of wood causes it to decay,therefore releasing more carbon-dioxide into the atmosphere.

Greenhouse Gases also can be released into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels, oil, coal and gas. These materials are used increasingly and rampantly in Industries. Therefore Industries are also a major cause of the Greenhouse Effect.

Another man-made causes of the increase in the Green house effect due to the emission of such gases are any all electrical appliances. Even the humble refrigerator in the house emits gases which contribute to the Greenhouse effect. These gases are known as Chloroflourocarbons (CFCs) and are used in refrigerators, aerosol cans, some foaming agents in the packaging industry, fire extinguisher chemicals and cleaners used in the electronic industry. Some processes of the cement manufacturing industries also act as a cause towards the Greenhouse effect.

Other man-made processes that contribute and are a cause to the Greenhouse effect are burning of gasoline, oil and coal. Apart from these, some farming and land-use processes are a cause of the Green house effect. Most factories also produce many gases which last for a longer time in the atmosphere. These gases contribute to the green-house effect and also the global warming on the planet. These gases are not naturally available in the atmosphere.

Please ! Do your part and help to reduce the Greenhouse Effect !

Global Warming : HOT PLANET ALERT !

Global warming? What is that?

Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of Earth’s surface. It happens when greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, and methane) trap heat and light from the sun in the earth’s atmosphere, which increases the temperature. This hurts many people, animals, and plants. Many cannot take the change, so they die.

What is the cause of global warming?

A majority of climatologists have concluded that human activities are responsible for most of the warming. Human activities contribute to global warming by enhancing Earth’s natural greenhouse effect. The main human activities that contribute to global warming are the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) and the clearing of land. Most of the burning occurs in automobiles, in factories, and in electric power plants that provide energy for houses and office buildings. The burning of fossil fuels creates carbon dioxide, whose chemical formula is CO2. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that slows the escape of heat into space. Trees and other plants remove CO2 from the air during photosynthesis, the process they use to produce food. The clearing of land contributes to the buildup of CO2 by reducing the rate at which the gas is removed from the atmosphere or by the decomposition of dead vegetation.

What is global warming doing to the environment?

Global warming is affecting many parts of the world. Global warming makes the sea rise, and when the sea rises, the water covers many low land islands. This is a big problem for many of the plants, animals, and people on islands. The water covers the plants and causes some of them to die. When they die, the animals lose a source of food, along with their habitat. Although animals have a better ability to adapt to what happens than plants do, they may die also. When the plants and animals die, people lose two sources of food, plant food and animal food. They may also lose their homes. As a result, they would also have to leave the area or die. This would be called a break in the food chain, or a chain reaction, one thing happening that leads to another and so on.

Everybody loves our earth, right? If you do, you should take some actions to prevent global warming !

People are doing many things to try to stop global warming. One thing people are doing is carpooling. Carpooling is driving with someone to a place that you are both going to. This minimizes the amount of greenhouse gases put into the air by a car.

Another thing that people are doing is being more careful about leaving things turned on like the television, computer, and the lights. A lot of people are taking time away from the television, and instead, they are spending more time outdoors. This helps our planet out a lot. Now, more people are even riding busses, walking to school, and riding their bikes to lower the amount of greenhouse gases in the air. Planting trees and recycling also helps. If you recycle, less trash goes to the dump, and less trash gets burned. As a result, there are fewer greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere.

Watch what you buy. Many things, such as hairspray and deodorant, now are made to have less of an impact on the atmosphere. Less greenhouse gasses will rise into the air, and global warming will slow down.