globalatmos1 - Global Atmospheric Changes Lecture13...

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Global  Atmospheric Changes Lecture 13
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Transboundary Atmospheric  Pollution Issues Urban air pollution issues are local in scope Past few decades have seen growing awareness of  regional and international air pollution issues Acid precipitation Stratospheric ozone depletion Global climate change Similar challenges as marine resource management
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The pH (Potential of Hydrogen) Scale The lower the number, the greater the acidity Unpolluted rainwater is naturally acidic (pH 5.65)
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Sources of Acid Rain Precursors Sulfur oxides (mainly from stationary sources) and nitrogen  oxides (mainly from transportation) are acidifying gases
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Acidification Process
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Acid Precipitation Impacts Surface water – can be come so acidic that: § Fish eggs won’t hatch § Insect larvae can’t survive § Reduced biodiversity and biological productivity § Most life eliminated in extreme cases Starving trout  in acidified lake Trout from same  lake after  acidification was  reversed
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Acid Precipitation Impacts Soil – changes impact plants growing in acidified soil § Soil microbes die – vital decomposers § Acidity releases toxins such as aluminum § Nutrients can be leached from soil Damage to crops can be mitigated by adding lime (calcium  carbonate) which neutralizes acids Can’t do this for natural vegetation, however
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Urban atmospheric acidity causes accelerated “weathering”  of stone and metal
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2011 for the course GEOGRAPHY 211 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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globalatmos1 - Global Atmospheric Changes Lecture13...

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