Water/Air Pollution, Climate Change, Economics, Politics

Point sources of pollution (water)
Comes from factories, sewage treatment plants, underground mines, and oil tankers
Non-point sources of pollution (water)
Comes from runoff of chemicals and sediments from cropland, livestock feedlots, logged forests, urban streets, parking lots, lawns, and golf courses.
cultural eutrophication
Over-nourishment of aquatic ecosystems with plant nutrients (mostly nitrates and phosphates) because of human activities such as agriculture, urbanization, and discharges from industrial plants and sewage treatment plants.
cultural eutrophication (causes)
It is caused mostly by runoff of plant nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates from surrounding land because of human activities such as agriculture, urbanization, and discharges from industrial plants and sewage treatment plants.
cultural eutrophication (effects)
– excessive growth in aquatic plants.
– reduced lake productivity and fish growth
– decreasing the input of solar energy
– depleted dissolved oxygen (influx of bacteria) killing fish
– possible anaerobic bacterial takeover
– production of gaseous products like hydrogen sulfide and methane.
groundwater contamination (sources)
accidental spills, hazardous waste injection well, leakage from faulty casing, cesspool, septic tank, pesticides and fertilizers, pumping well, coal strip mine runoff, waste lagoon seepage, landfills, buried gasoline and solvent tanks.
surface-water contamination (sources)
soil erosion, fertilizers, nutrient overload, pesticides.
coastal water contamination (sources)
Industry, cities, urban sprawl, construction sites, farms, red tides, toxic sediments.
ocean oil pollution (sources)
Oil, raw sewage, toxic chemicals, nitrogen, heavy metals, fertilizers
dealing with water pollution
1. Prevention – reduce input of toxins, ban waste dumping; regulate coastal development,oil drilling, and oil shipping.
2. Cleanup – improve cleanup capabilities with new technologies, add secondary treatment (especially to sewage)
Atmospheric layers
Troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere
Troposphere – why is it important?
Has most of the planet’s air, plays a major role in weather and climate
Stratosphere – why is it important?
It absorbs UV radiation from the sun, protecting life on Earth
Types of outdoor pollution
carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides and nitric acid, sulfur dioxide sulfuric acid, particulates, ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
Sources of outdoor pollution
Natural cycles (carbon cycle, sulfur cycle, nitrogen cycle), natural sources (dust, wind, fire, sea salt, animals), human activities (burning fossil fuels, coal power, tobacco smoke, automobile exhaust/engines, deforestation)
Greenhouse effect
natural effect that releases heat into the atmosphere near the Earth’s surface
Acid deposition
Acid rain
Acid deposition (causes)
suspended particles and nitrogen oxides from industrial pollution are transferred by wind throughout the atmosphere and released to fall to Earth through rain, snow, fog, and cloud vapor.
Acid deposition (effects)
damages statues and buildings, respiratory disease, water pollution by toxic metals; harms aquatic ecosystems, crops, and forests.
Greenhouse effect (causes)
CO2 emissions (power plants and gasoline), methane emissions (animals, agriculture, and the sea), deforestation (tropical forests, pulp, and farmland), use of chemical fertilizers
Greenhouse effect (effects)
Rise in sea levels, killer storms, crop failures, extinction of species, loss of coral reefs