Human Impact on the Environment Essay

1535 Words7 Pages
Human Impact on the Environment I. Human Population and Industrialization A. By-products of industrialization 1. Industrialization is driven by energy consumption from coal, petroleum, and natural gas a. Fossil fuels were formed by decomposition and pressure on remains of plants and animals millions of years ago b. Oil is the fuel most widely used, both as starting material for making gasoline and for other products 2. Pollution is any environmental change that adversely affects the lives and health of living things a. Burning fossil fuels results in hydrocarbons, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur oxides, particulates b. Automobiles consume one-third of the world's…show more content…
In 1850, atmospheric CO2 was about 280 parts per million (ppm); today, it is about 350 ppm b. This increase is due largely to burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests c. Oceans currently absorb half of the CO2 emitted or else the atmospheric level would be higher d. Methane given off by oil and gas wells, rice paddies, cows, etc. is increasing by one percent a year e. Greenhouse effect - warming of lower atmosphere caused by accumulation of certain greenhouse gases that allow rays of the sun to pass through, but then reflect or reradiate heat to the earth f. Greenhouse gases: 1) carbon dioxide (CO2), produced by fossil fuel and wood burning 2) nitrous oxide (NO2), produced by fertilizer use and released from decomposition of animals wastes 3) methane (CH4), produced by bacteria (especially in animal guts), in sediments, and in flooded rice paddies 4) chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), in particular Freon (a refrigerant) III. Acid precipitation (rain) A. Rainfall pH 1. Pure water has a pH of 7; dissociation of H2O produces equal numbers of H+ and OH- ions 2. Atmospheric CO2 combines with water to produce a weak carbonic acid and an increased number of H+ ions 3. Rain normally has a pH of 5.6 rather than 7.0 4. However, near urban areas, rainfall pH is nearer 4.0 and some fog clouds drop to as
Open Document