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FOCUS QUESTIONS - SECTION IV HAZARDS GLOBAL POPULATION GROWTH What is exponential growth? The rate of growth is proportional to the current amount present. As the current amount increases the  rate of growth also increases. What is the current human population of the planet? 6.8 Billion People What percentage of all the people who have ever lived are alive today? 7 Percent In terms of loss of life, what has caused Earth’s greatest historic disasters? Bubonic Plaugue 75 to 40 million Do things like volcanic eruptions and asteroid impacts hold greater potential for loss of life than has been caused by historic examples? Yes Why so? Because the happen WEATHER AND CLIMATE What is the difference between weather and climate? Weather – The state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time. Climate – Weather conditions over a long period of time. What causes the Earth to have seasons? Earths axis 23.5 degree angle to its orbit plane around the sun. What are the lowest two of the four main atmospheric layers? Troposphere – layer in which we live. ( Layer in which all important weather occurs) Stratosphere -  What are their major characteristics? Troposphere – Contains 80 – 90% of all major gases in the atmosphere.( Temperatures drop 3.5 degrees  for every 1000 feet.) Stratosphere – extends upwards from the troposphere to about 30 miles.(Temperatures frigid but fairly  constant)  Approximately how thick, relative to Earth, is the atmosphere in which humans can live? Quarter of an inch What, if any, is the relationship between climate change and human history? Climate Change influences human history What are the major, constant gas constituents of Earth’s atmosphere? Nitrogen, Oxygen, and the inert or noble gases (mostly argon) form 99.9% of the atmosphere. List the variable atmospheric constituents. The variable  constituents  are  carbon  dioxide  (CO 2),  methane  (CH 4 ) nitrous  oxide  and   nitrogen   dioxide   (NO   and   NO 2 ),   sulfur   dioxide   (SO 2) ,   ozone   (O 3) ,   and   chlorofluorohydrocarbons (CFC's).   1
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What are their human-related sources? GAS HUMAN SOURCE CO 2 Fossil-fuel combustion, deforestation CH 4 Rice fields,  cattle, landfills,  fossil-fuel production NO  &  NO 2 Fossil-fuel   combustion,  burning   biomass,   heated   air SO 2 Fossil fuel combustion, smelting O 3 Photochemical smog CFC’s Aerosol sprays,  refrigerants, solvents, foam  How are the variable constituents changing and what are the global effects of these changes? GAS EFFECT CO 2 Major greenhouse   gas CH 4 Effective  greenhouse gas NO  &  NO 2 Acid rain SO 2 Acid rain, negative  greenhouse gas O 3 Toxic, eye  irritation, impaired   lung function,  vegetation damage CFC’s Greenhouse gas  and ozone  destruction How is the stratospheric ozone layer formed?
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