Glossary of *S Largent* Environmental Science Ch 9 Terms
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- daily temperature and moisture conditions in a specific area.
- long-term weather patterns.
- lowest region of the atmosphere (11 miles above sea level); makes up 75% of the total mass of the atmosphere; contains water vapor; ozone; as well as compounds containing N; O; C; and S.
- Greenhouse effect
- the atmosphere (comparable to glass in a greenhouse) transmits sunlight while trapping heat inside; it is a natural process essential for life.
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
- the UN Environment Program and World Meteorological Organization formed this group; consisting of scientists from many nations and a wide variety of fields; they are responsible for the assessment of the current state of knowledge regarding climate change.
- Kyoto Protocol
- an international treaty adopted in Kyoto; Japan; in 1997; in which 160 nations agreed to do whatever necessary to reduce the quantity of specific gas emissions (carbon dioxide; methane; and nitrous oxide) to reduce the threat of global climate change. This treaty sets different limits for individual nations depending on their output of these pollutants.
- Air pollution
- the presence of one or more chemicals in the atmosphere in quantities and duration that cause harm to life.
- Conventional/criteria pollutants
- the seven substances (sulfur dioxide; carbon monoxide; particulates; hydrocarbons; nitrogen oxides; photochemical oxidants; and lead) that make up the largest volume of air quality degradation; identified by the Clean Air Act as the most serious threat of all pollutants to human health and welfare.
- Unconventional pollutants
- toxic or hazardous substances; such as asbestos; benzene; beryllium; mercury; polychlorinated biphenyls; and vinyl chloride; not listed in the original Clean Air Act; because they were not released in large quantities.
- Primary pollutants
- these are formed by clean air in the troposphere collecting with the products of natural events and human activities.
- Secondary pollutants
- these come from primary pollutants in which the primary pollutants react with one another or the basic components of air to form new pollutants.
- Acid precipitation
- acidic rain; snow; or dry particles deposited from the air due to increased acids released by human activity or natural resources.
- Clean Air Act
- of 1970; 1977; and 1990 established ambient standards for four primary pollutants: sulfur dioxide; particulates; carbon monoxide; and nitrogen oxides. The Clean Air Act (CAA) was originally enacted to protect the quality of the nations air resources and the public health and welfare. The second purpose of the CAA is to initiate a research and development program to achieve the prevention and control of air pollution. Third; the act provides means for technical and financial assistance for state and local governments so that they may carry out air pollution prevention and control programs. The final goal of the CAA is to encourage the development of regional air pollution prevention and control programs.
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