Presentation on theme: "Pollution, Aerosols and Climate Change"— Presentation transcript:
1Pollution, Aerosols and Climate Change Laura MarschkeSouthwest Early College
2What are we learning about today? PollutionWhat are we learning about today?What is pollution?Air pollutantsWhere does air pollution come from?Why do we care about pollution?Health effectsPollution and climate changeSteps to reduce air pollutionColorado’s plans for reducing pollutionDo measures to reduce air pollution actually work?Pittsburgh, Beijing, and London case studies
4What is pollution?The introduction of a contaminant into the environmentLand pollutionLitteringSewageNuclear and chemical wasteAir pollutionEmissionsSmokeAcid rainFumesWater pollutionPesticides, fertilizersOil spillsSewageSoaps, antifreeze, oilHousehold chemicals
5Quick facts – air pollution The average adult consumes 3000 gallons of polluted air every dayVehicle exhaust contributes to 60% of carbon monoxide emissions in the US (up to 95% in large cities)London's "Great Smog“ of was one of the worst air pollution incidents in historyDeaths of more than 4,000 died in just six daysHarvard School of Public Health has recently (2010) come up with the data that approximately 4% of all deaths in the US can be attributed to air pollution
7Where does air pollution come from? Wood burningFireplacesWood stovesLand-clearing firesBurning toxic substancesGarbagePlasticsAir conditioners, refrigerators, fire extinguishersFossil fuel burningCars, trucks, etcBoatsTrainsGas-powered toolsHousehold productsPaintsPrinter inkHairspray, air freshenersStirring up dustBuilding, driving, any way we change the landscape
8Why do we care about pollution? Health effectsClimate effects
9Health effects of small particulates Contain cancer-causing materialsPenetrate lungs and collect in air sacsCoughing/wheezingAsthma (onset or increases frequency and/or duration of events)Heart diseaseChronic bronchitisEmphysemaPneumoniaPremature births/low birth weightMore emergency room visitsMore hospitalizationsMore time off of work and school
10Example - pneumoconiosis Develops after small particulates, stay and accumulate inside lungsA deadly occupational disease which develops over a long period of timeSaid to be incurable even with contemporary medicine
11Health effects of ground-level ozone Irritate eyes, nose, and throatInflammation of lungs and airwaysCoughingAsthmaBronchitisChest painDifficulty breathingSusceptibility to lung diseaseDamage to lung tissuePremature aging of lungsContribute to chronic lung disease
12Health effects of carbon monoxide This is a poison!!!Small amounts of CO will cause tiredness and chest painsLarger amounts impair vision and coordination, triggers headaches, dizziness, confusion, and nauseaHigh concentrations – FATAL!
13Health effects of other air pollutants CancerLow immunityDisorders of the nervous systemInterference with child developmentAnd more!
14Pollution and climate change Fine particulatesDecrease precipitation downwindReduce photosynthetic activity and growth of plantsCan change reflectivity of cloudsPollution can limit plant productivity and survivalSulfates and nitrates cause coolingRegional ozone concentrations will increaseHigher concentrations of ozone increase transpiration and exacerbates tree drought stressIncreases vulnerability to attacks and wildfire
15Steps to reduce air pollution Walk or bike moreCarpool or use public transportationMaintain your vehicleCombine errands to reduce drivingDrive smartAccelerate slowlyDrive slowerAvoid letting your car idleDon’t smokeAvoid using products in aerosol spray cansUse a push or electric lawn mower instead of gas-poweredAvoid chemicals or cleaners that emit fumesMaintain gas appliances and heaters
16What is Colorado doing? Must follow Clean Air Act (federal law) 19 regulations (this is a sample)Particles, smokes, carbon monoxide and sulfur oxidesOdor controlAir pollution emissionWood burning controlsVOC controlsHazardous air pollutants controlsTransportation conformityMotor/diesel vehicle inspection programsCFC regulationsStreet sanding and sweepingAcid rain controlsLead based paint controls
17Does it work? Pittsburgh, 1940s Here we can see a half-washed building.A "before and after" shot of St. Louis from the newspaper of the time. Probably inspired many to do the same thing in Pittsburgh.Does it work? Pittsburgh, 1940s"A county-wide ordinance was passed in Allegheny County in 1949, after the deadly Donora Fog blanketed a five-state area for five days in "The end result, which is immediately visible even at such a short distance. The air is much cleaner, something that most of us take for granted today. But we shouldn't forget how many people had to fight to get to that point, and how we now have to fight for other things.
18Does it work? Beijing, 2008 Before/after in Beijing Measures taken The Chinese government imposed new restrictions for air quality before the 2008 Olympic GamesMeasures takenPolluting factories closed or improvedWastewater treatedIncreased forested areas within cityNew public transportation using updated emission guidelinesOld taxis, etc have been replacedStaggered work days to reduce traffic volumes
19Does it work? Beijing, 2008What a difference ... these photos were taken just 24 hours apart, on Sunday and yesterday / Pics: Michael Dodge Source: The Daily Telegraph (August 5, 2008)The study (about Beijing air quality) was just recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and describes how air pollution can “affect cardiovascular disease mechanisms in healthy, young people.”Beijing air quality throughout the Olympics
20YES Does it work? Beijing, 2008 New research shows that levels of carbon monoxide dropped sharply in the Beijing area between 2007 and 2008, due to traffic restrictions imposed because of the 2008 Summer Olympics.Knowing the levels of carbon monoxide allowed the researchers to infer that carbon dioxide emissions also dropped dramatically.
21“2012 Olympics might bring the worst air quality in Europe” Current maps of London air qualityDoes it work? London, 2012“2012 Olympics might bring the worst air quality in Europe”It is feared that the city’s nitrogen oxide and ozone concentrations will negatively affect the 2012 Olympic athletes and the vast number of spectators and tourists in attendanceIn addition, legal action (to the British government) for failing to comply with the EU’s January 1, 2010 deadline for fulfilling established air quality plans
22What are we learning about today? AerosolsWhat are we learning about today?What are aerosols?Where do aerosols come from?Why do we care about aerosols?Health effects of aerosolsClimate effects of aerosolsSteps to reduce aerosol emissionsSummaryCompare and contrast pollution and aerosols
23What are aerosols? Minute particles suspended in the atmosphere They scatter and absorb sunlightCan be emitted directly (primary) or created through chemistry (secondary)Act as a site for a chemical reaction to take placeImportant: destruction of stratospheric ozone
24sea salt dust volcanic ash What are aerosols?sea salt dust volcanic ashTypesDustSea saltSulfatesBlack carbonOrganic matterNitratesVolcanic ashPollenSea saltSoot
25Dust Mainly from deserts Solid particles Mostly natural Humans contribute from land conversionAlbedo is approximately 0.5Does dust cause cooling or warming?Both
26Cooling or warming? Over forest or water? Over ice or snow? Cooling Sand is lighter (higher albedo) than forests or waterOver ice or snow?WarmingSand is darker (lower albedo) than snow or ice
27Sea Salt Mainly from the oceans Solid particles unless hydrated with waterMostly naturalCauses cooling
28Sulfates (nitrates are similar) Secondary emissionProduced from SO2 or DMSMostly from humansFossil fuel combustionAlbedo of 0.99Does this cause warming or cooling?Cooling
29Black carbon Mostly from biomass burning and fossil fuel combustion Appears black to the naked eyeWhat would it’s albedo be?Close to 0Does this cause warming or cooling?Warming over snow/ice especially!
30Organic Matter Variety of compounds Natural or from humans Terpenes from trees, vegetationFossil fuel and biomass burningCan be primary or secondary emissions
31Where do aerosols come from? Saharan dust storm off West African coastDustDesertsAgricultureSea saltOceansSulfatesChemical reaction of sulfur dioxideVolcanoesFossil fuel burningMarine plankton
32Where do aerosols come from? Black carbonTransportationFossil fuel burningCook stovesBiomass burningOrganic matterNitratesChemical reaction of ammonia and sulfatesAgricultural emissions
33Where do aerosols come from? Pale yellowClear skyMaximum visibilityDark red-brownVery hazy conditionsVideo of aerosol optical depth over time (1/05 - 6/12)January 2005
34Where do aerosols come from? High concentrations due to land clearing and agricultural fires (dry seasons)South AmericaJuly – SeptCentral AmericaMarch – MayCentral and south AfricaJune – SeptSoutheast AsiaJanuary – AprilHigh concentrations due to dust stormsArabian PeninsulaMay – AugustHigh concentrations due to human-produced air pollutionNorthern India and Himalayas regionMany monthsEastern ChinaMost of the year
35Why do we care about aerosols? Health effectsClimate effects
36Health effects of aerosols Enhanced mortality, cardiovascular, respiratory and allergic diseasesAsthma, bronchitis, cancer, etcIncreased lung toxicitySuper-fine particles can travel to respiratory tracts, enter the blood stream and enter the brainSuppression of defense mechanismsVideo: African Dust, Coral Reefs and Human Health
37Aerosols and climate change Changes in formation of clouds and precipitationQuantity of dropletsSize of dropletsChanges in reflectivityCan inhibit or enhance cloud formation
38Aerosols and climate change Cause warming or coolingBlack carbonWarmSulfatesCool
39Steps to reduce aerosol emissions Clean Air Act and other legislationScrubbers and filtersAdvanced combustion techniquesSustainable agricultureConversion to newer technologyCook stoves, etcAlternative energy sourcesLimiting fossil fuel consumption
40Summary: compare and contrast PollutionAerosolsContaminant to environmentParticulate matterGround-level ozoneCarbon monoxideNitrogen oxidesSulfur oxidesVOCsEmitted directly into the atmosphereModerate to severe health effectsGenerally cause coolingSuspended particulate matterDustSea saltSulfatesBlack carbonOrganic matterNitratesEmitted directly or secondary after chemical reactionModerate to severe health effectsCause warming or cooling
41Sources http://www.bcairquality.ca/101/individual-pollution.html https://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/7535/reducing-traffic-2008-olympics-yielded-large-cut-co2Also, special thanks to Jason English at UCAR for some images and information used in this power point
42Image SourcesSea salt image – Tiyani Fan, graduate student at the University of ColoradoBlack carbon image – Pengfei Yu, graduate student at the University of Colorado