• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse the spatial and temporal dimensions of the formation of ground level ozone pollution.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Analyse the spatial and temporal dimensions of the formation of ground level ozone pollution. People often associate ozone as being a layer in the stratosphere, which absorbs dangerous UV rays that can cause cancer and that we are, by burning fossil fuels and releasing gases into the air with unknown consequences, creating a hole in this layer. This stratospheric layer is thought of as "good ozone". But ozone can exist at ground level as well which is thought of as "bad ozone". This ground level (or troposhperic) ozone has the exact same chemical make up as stratospheric ozone, which is hazardous to human health and so at ground level, can become very dangerous (Brimblecombe and Maynard, 2001). Another more common name for this form of pollution is smog, a word that brings harrowing memories of the 4000 deaths attributed to smog in the 1952 episode. This essay will attempt to analyse the formation of troposhperic ozone pollution through time and space along with its variables and a number of case studies to illustrate the causes and effects of such events. Firstly, what exactly is ozone? It is an odourless, colourless gas that, as has already been established, occurs in two layers of the atmosphere. The stratosphere (approximately 9 to 18 miles up) and the troposphere (ground level to 9 miles up) (www.tnrcc.state.tx.us). Unlike stratospheric ozone, tropospheric ozone is not naturally created. It has the same chemical structure (O3) but can sometimes undergo photochemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen (NOx) ...read more.

Middle

It has been known for winds to carry ozone and the pollutants that form it hundreds of miles from its original source toxic (http://k12science.ati.stevens-tech.edu). This process is called transport. But even if there are NOx and VOCs present, tropospheric ozone needs the right weather conditions to form. The largest and undoubtedly most famous smog event was the 1952 smog in London. The weather in London on December 4th 1952 was anti-cyclonic (www.doc.mmu.ac.uk) and a fog began to form. It had also been colder than average and people had been burning more fuel (www.met-office.gov.uk) all the ingredients for a disastrous smog. The smog lasted for five days and is said to have killed anywhere between 4000 and 12,000 people. The graph below shows deaths that occurred per day against the smoke and sulphur dioxide rates. As it can be seen from the graph, even after the smog had cleared, people were continuing to die from diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis. The great London smog led to the establishment of the 1956 clean air act. Although it didn't pun an immediate end to smog events, it pushed down the levels of emissions and now the thick "pea-soup" smog events of the past no longer occur in London. Another place in particular that suffers heavily from ground level ozone pollution is Ontario, Canada. Smog events in Ontario can blanket large areas, both urban and rural for several days and in the summer months; ozone concentrations often greatly exceed the maximum acceptable air quality in the most populated areas. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is a very complex relationship in terms of the spatial and temporal dimensions of the formation of ground level ozone pollution. The right ingredients do not necessarily have to be present in the same place as they can be transported by the wind to cause problems in other areas as in the Ontario case. There is one major limit however and that is that smog can only form in times when sunlight is present because the reaction that occurs between Nox and VOCs is photochemical. This is why these events are more likely to occur in the summer months. In a study conducted by Shaw and Griffis, they attempted to understand the relationship between ground level ozone and its adverse effects upon humans and crops from a meteorological perspective. They found that the maximum daily temperature is the single most important variable and that it was this that accounted for the largest percentage of variance. It is very difficult to completely eradicate this problem due to the transport factor. In London it was simpler as it was London's pollution that was causing the problems. In Ontario, it is US pollution that is being transported to cause problems and so some kind of international agreement needs to be made. This has shown in the past not to be as easy as it sounds. The US at the moment sees their economic wealth and growth to be at the forefront of their policies with the environment taking a back seat. The chances it seems that they would change their policy for another country appears to be very slim. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. I am going to research waste pollution. I have chosen to research waste pollution ...

    There are no large risks to human health related to landfill sites in general. A review of 46 human studies show that increased risks of certain effects (low birth weights, birth defects and certain types of cancers) have been reported near a few individual landfill sites.

  2. How Does Air Pollution Affect the Hong Kong People and Economy?

    more public transport, it could encourage citizens to ride on them instead of traveling using private vehicles. This way, it could reduce the number of cars on the streets. Pedestrianisation: Pedestrianisation is to convert roads which are originally used by public vehicles into areas of which only pedestrians are allowed.

  1. Infectious Diseases in Humans

    Usually due to economic constrains it is essential to identify the most susceptible host populations for the agent so that the intervention is prioritised and has the most beneficial effect, be it the distribution of drugs, ITN availability or pesticide spaying.

  2. The Ozone a Hole in the TheoryThe protective ozone layer around our world undergoes ...

    Of course the news media would never report of such things, all too happy (and true). Derek Barton, a No! bel prize winning chemist once said "There's so much propaganda [around the ozone issue] that I just don't believe it(Begley-71)."

  1. Photochemical smog.

    Also, the limestone process requires huge amounts of limestone and releases great quantities of carbon dioxide. (758) One way of minimising nitrogen oxide emissions is to reduce the temperature of combustion then less thermal NOx will be produced. However at lower temperatures the conversion of heat energy to electrical energy is lower.

  2. Pollution levels - Record the pollution level of a particular pollutant in five different ...

    Below is a picture of a monitoring station. Below is a site map: - The sites of which I have chose to record the SO2 levels are: - > Birmingham > Newcastle > Reading > Manchester > Bristol > Wirral Tranmere > Rochester > Swansea > Wicken Fen > Wrexham

  1. Ozone (O3) is an allotropic form of oxygen with three atoms in each molecule. ...

    3.0 LOW LEVEL OZONE 3.1 Background Ozone is also present in the troposphere. Even though ozone is essentially toxic, it is relatively harmless in quantities less than 30 parts per billion. However, human activities have increased the amount of ozone dramatically, resulting in damage to living organisms.

  2. Enviromental Health - how humans can damage the environment

    simply cannot cope with the increasing levels of water pollution caused by different chemicals and other waste. In some areas of the world water pollution issue is totally out of control, and in these areas polluted water spreads different toxins and other chemicals into environment, making it dirty, and above all unhealthy place to live in.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work