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GCSE: Changing Materials - The Earth and its Atmosphere

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Key things you need to know about the atmosphere

  1. 1 The air around us is composed of 70% nitrogen, 29% oxygen and 1% other gases (mostly noble gases and 0.04% carbon dioxide)
  2. 2 Two of the best ways now being used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are: “capture and storage”- where we capture the CO2 and trap it in abandoned oil wells. And “sequestration”- where we react the CO2 with CaO to make CaCO3 (CaO + CO2 = CaCO3)
  3. 3 The layer of atmosphere that we live in is called the troposphere. Above that is the stratosphere, followed by the mesosphere, then the thermosphere and finally the exosphere. The ozone layer is located in the lower stratosphere.
  4. 4 The ozone layer is a layer of O3 molecules that absorb harmful ultraviolet radiation that would otherwise kill most human life on Earth (by giving us cancer).
  5. 5 Gases like CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons) destroy the ozone layer. It takes decades for CFC’s to be removed from the atmosphere once they are up there- and all the time they are constantly destroying more ozone. There is currently a hole in the ozone layer caused by gases like CFC’s that is as big as the arctic (north) pole…and growing.

Five top tips on pollution

  1. 1 Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas as it blocks the haemoglobin in our blood from transporting oxygen around our body…if you take in too much carbon monoxide you will suffocate even if you keep on breathing!
  2. 2 Nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide gases in the atmosphere cause acid rain. This destroys trees and makes lakes too acidic for fish to live in. It is also responsible for corroding buildings.
  3. 3 Carbon dioxide is the biggest cause of global warming and if its levels are not reduced, it could cause the melting of the polar ice caps. This will flood an estimated minimum of 30% of England. It is the biggest worry of atmospheric scientists of our time.
  4. 4 Particulates, mainly found in car exhausts, get stuck in our lungs and cause cancer.
  5. 5 Low level ozone (O3) is incredibly dangerous, especially for people who have asthma.

What is global warming?

  1. 1 Global warming is caused by greenhouse gases absorbing infrared radiation emitted from the Earth and scattering it back down to Earth. As infrared radiation is basically heat, this heats the surface of the Earth up.
  2. 2 As well as carbon dioxide, other greenhouse gases include water and methane. They absorb the infrared radiation by making their bonds vibrate.
  3. 3 As global warming causes the polar ice caps to melt, clathrate deposits (huge amount of trapped methane gas) are released. This causes further global warming in a positive feedback loop.
  4. 4 As the average temperature on land raises, many crops will not be able to grow. Almost all scientists agree that this will cause widespread famine on a scale never seen before. This will affect all countries, not just developing countries.
  5. 5 A common mistake students make is to confuse the greenhouse effect with the hole in the ozone layer. Ozone has nothing to do with the greenhouse effect. Keep these two topics clearly separated in your mind.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 6
  • Peer Reviewed essays 19
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    The electrolysis of Sodium Sulfate (Na2SO4)

    The same thing happens in the other side, which is anode, bubble is also formed. Reduction happens in cathode, whereas oxidation happens in anode. In cathode, hydrogen (H2) is formed and in anode, Oxygen (O2) is formed. The reaction is in the following: Cathode --> 2H2O + 2e- --> 2OH- + H2 Anode --> 2H2O --> 4H+ + O2 + 4e- In cathode, the product the reduction is OH-, which is base becomes purple after being added by phenolphthalein and in anode, the product of oxidation is H+ is acid.

    • Word count: 388
  2. Peer reviewed

    the chemistry of iron

    5 star(s)

    Fe2+: Fe3+: As Fe3+ has a half-filled 3d subshell, Fe3+ has extra stability over Fe2+. This can be reflected from the particularly low third ionization enthalpy. Fe2+ can readily be oxidized to Fe3+. Coloured ions and complex formation Complex is formed when ligands form dative covalent bonds with the central atom/ion. Transition metal ions like Fe2+ and Fe3+ can form complexes with ligands readily because they have large charge/radius ratio and low lying vacant d-orbitals available for accepting the lone-pair electrons of the ligands. After forming complexes, the d-orbitals of the transition metal ions split into two groups with slightly different energy levels.

    • Word count: 926
  3. Peer reviewed

    Biodegradable Polymers

    5 star(s)

    In fact, everyone can play a part in protecting our Earth from plastics by using biodegradable polymers as substituents. Problem caused by non-biodegradable polymers We have been using non-biodegradable plastics for so many years that we simply ignore their harmful effects. Plastics produce various problems in different areas, including ecological, environment and economical fields. A. Ecological problems Plasticizers and polychlorinated hydrocarbons used in the manufacture of plastics pose a health hazard and they may incorporate into the food chain, eventually getting into human body. Plastic wastes in the sea directly affect fishes. Small fishes have been found dead with their digestive tracts clogged by fragments of plastic foam they had ingested.

    • Word count: 731
  4. Peer reviewed

    Effect of increasing charge on Mass of Copper Deposited.

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    However, it does contain ions (which are charged particles) fixed in a crystalline structure. When copper sulphate is dissolved, the copper sulphate solution becomes an electrolyte because the ions become free to move and they can conduct electricity. At the cathode, the copper ions, being more reactive than the hydrogen ions are deposited whilst the hydrogen ions remain in solution. At the anode, the copper atoms from the copper anode give up their two electrons to make them stable. The electron flow in the electric current back to the power supply and the anode dissolves.

    • Word count: 981
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    An investigation into the factors which affect the currentflowing during electrolysis

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    This will greater the current. Temperature- the ions will go quicker to the electrodes as the water will vibrate quicker when hotter. This will increase the current. Voltage- The current would be decreased because by ohm's law v=ir Surface area of the electrodes- if the surface area on the electrode increases there will be more space for the ions to go to and therefore the current will increase. Out of these 5 variables I am going to investigate how the change in concentration can affect the current flow.

    • Word count: 998
  6. Peer reviewed

    The Electrolysis of Copper Sulphate.

    4 star(s)

    Whereas the 1.0 mol and 0.5 mol concentrations increases steadily at a slower rate. This obviously shows that if the voltage increase, the weight also increases. Hence I can conclude; the higher then voltage and concentration, the more copper is produced. The reason for this would be because we used electrolysis. This is used to separate metals from their ores and metal compounds. The electrolyte (solution) contains negative and positive ions. For electrolysis to work there must be the same amount of positive ions to negative ions so that the solution is electrically balanced.

    • Word count: 729
  7. Peer reviewed

    Extraction Of Iron

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    One of these reactions is the coke being burnt. The heat generated by this reaction increases the bottom of the furnace to a temperature near 19000� C. This reaction is represented in a chemical equation: C(s) + O2(g) (r) CO2(g) + heat The carbon dioxide generated rises halfway up the furnace, where it reacts with the hotter coke. This causes the carbon dioxide to reduce into carbon monoxide. This reaction absorbs some heat and lowers the temperature of the upper part of the furnace to roughly 1300� C. CO2(g)

    • Word count: 849
  8. Peer reviewed

    How the concentration of brine affects the conduction of electricity.

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    Concentration: The concentration of a mixture also effects the rate of reaction. An increase in concentration means there are more particles. More particles means there will be more collisions. This should increase the reaction rate. Concentration may be expressed in a number of ways. The simplest statement of the concentrations of the components of a mixture is in terms of their percentages by weight or volume. Apparatus List: Power Pack, Electrodes, Beakers, Sodium Chloride, Spatula, Water, Measuring Cylinder, Ammeter, Weighing Scales Diagram: Fair Test: This will be a fair test because I will be using the same electrodes, weighing machine; measuring cylinder and volume of water, and the same voltage (8)

    • Word count: 999
  9. Peer reviewed

    Extracting Copper from Malachite

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    the solution gradually turned light blue, producing zinc sulphate. After flittering this solution copper was formed. We then weighed the copper. Results Sand = 1.91g Copper Ore = 3.09g Copper = 1.58g % Copper in Malachite = 1.58 5 100 = 31.6% %Copper on Copper Ore = 1.58 3.09 100 = 51.4 Theoretical % CuCO Cu(OH) H 0 2 Cu 63.5 2 = 127 6 O 16 6 = 96 4 H 1 4 = 4 1 C 12 1 =

    • Word count: 496
  10. Peer reviewed

    The chemistry of copper - how it is extracted and purified.

    3 star(s)

    They are then pulled to the surface in skips via one of the shafts. At the top, the ore is crushed even further into grain-like pieces. The ore is mixed with water and other special chemicals to remove the waste rock and float the copper ore so it can be skimmed off the water. It then is heated to purify the copper and separate it from any other metals (alloys). The ore is treated with dilute sulphuric acid. This trickles slowly through the ore and dissolves copper to form copper sulphate.

    • Word count: 829
  11. Peer reviewed

    The Age of the Earth

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    Fossils in sedimentary rocks and the weathering of most ancient craters prove to us that some of the eldest bits rocks date back to about 4.5 billion years old. There is evidence to prove that the earth had formed approximately 1 billion years ago by radiometric age dating of particular rocks, such as lead in uranium-rich minerals which had showed us that it was in excess of being a billion years old.

    • Word count: 498
  12. Peer reviewed

    The production of plastics involves a process called polymerization.

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    There are many different types of plastic packaging. Polyethylene terephthalate and high density polyethylene is used for bottling. Low density polyethylene is used for carrier bags and packaging films. Polypropylene is used for margarine tubs. Polystyrene is used for yoghurt pots, egg cartons, packaging for electronic goods and toys, foam hamburger boxes. Plastics are an essential part of the packaging industry. Plastics properties enable it to be easy to handle in various environments. Plastic packaging provides sufficient protection of the content. Plastic does not rust or splinter. Plastics are lightweight and malleable and easy to transport. These are the reasons why plastic is indispensible to modern day living.

    • Word count: 727
  13. Peer reviewed

    Aerosols in Atmosphere - Environmental and Economical Impact.

    3 star(s)

    It is also recognised as a health problem, especially in regard to respiratory illness. Atmospheric aerosols influence climate. They reflect the sunlight back to space, in a way that provides the gradual cooling of planet Earth. A professor in CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Toon, who has studied similar modification of clouds over the ocean and their effects, said that aerosol cloud may even cancel out greenhouse warming. During winter, in polar regions, polar stratospheric clouds form. This provides sites for chemical reactions to take place. These reactions can lead reaction of reactive chlorine, which destroys the ozone.

    • Word count: 800
  14. Peer reviewed

    Notes on the uses of limestone and its products

    Slaked lime(Calcium hydroxide) * Manufacture * Made by adding an equal amount of water to calcium oxide. * This reaction is carefully monitored. * Thius control is needed as it is a highly exothermic reaction. CaO(s) + H20(l) --> Ca(OH)2(s) * Uses * Cheap industrial alkali. * Used to reduce soil acidity * Used in the manufacture of white wash. * Used in glass manufacture and water purification.

    • Word count: 428
  15. Fire safety research coursework. Experiment making a fire extinguisher

    Halon-Green - This fire extinguisher is no longer legal except for a few exceptions such as the police and Aircraft. They are rechargeable and contain recycled Halon 1211 with Nitrogen as a propellant. They are used for fires class D. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are designed for class F fires but are also effective for class A fires. Types of fires: Class A-Solids such as paper, wood, plastic. Class B- Flammable liquids like petrol and oil. Class C- Flammable such as propane, butane.

    • Word count: 842
  16. The Effects of the Combustion of Fossil Fuels and its advantages and disadvantages.

    Combustion (burning) is the process of breaking up atoms to release energy in the form of light and heat. Combustion of fossil fuels releases all the energy stored in the plant and animal remains. An advantage of using fossil fuels as an energy is that it is easier to convert into usable energy than hydroelectric and nuclear. Also, nuclear can be potentially dangerous When coal is burnt it emits a large amount of carbon dioxide into the environment and the carbon dioxide released is not efficiently used by some other processes like photosynthesis to eliminate it from the atmosphere.

    • Word count: 756
  17. Using Ice core Data

    350 000 years ago, the Co2 levels dropped to 0.0186%, probably because of the emergence of plants which photosynthesised and took Co2 from the atmosphere and replaced it with oxygen. 250 000 years ago the Co2 levels went up, probably because of de-foresation.150 000 years ago, the amount of Co2 shot up dramatically because around that time humans started to burn fossil fuels which released Co2 into the atmosphere.

    • Word count: 457
  18. Informing People about Global Warming - the scientific evidence.

    Global Warming is usually a natural part of our earth. Our planet, Earth, has a natural layer of gases around it we call the atmosphere. The ozone layer is a layer in the atmosphere that has a unique combination of gases (gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapour. There are also smaller amounts of other gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and CFC's (Chlorofluorocarbons) within that keep the temperature on the surface of Earth hospitable for life to occur. Sunlight passes through our atmosphere and hits the surface of the earth which heats the earth.

    • Word count: 849
  19. Global Warming

    The growth of deserts may also cause food shortages in many places. Also, that the warming of just 2�C to 3�C in the next 100 years would put 3 billion people at the risk from water shortage, an extra 300 million facing the threat of malaria and 100 million more in the danger of coastal flooding. Do you want to be surrounded by this much danger? The second cause of the occurrence of global warming is that the sea levels are rising.

    • Word count: 925
  20. Design Lab- Acid Rain

    Oxides of Nitrogen are found in the atmosphere and are produced due to the following reasons: i) High temperature combustion in automobiles ii) Decomposition of Nitrogen containing bacteria iii) Lightning iv) Industrial processes such as Nitric Acid manufacture v) Agricultural Burning and Forest Fires These above methods produce Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) which is an Oxide of Nitrogen. This NO2 in the absence of Oxygen react with the water vapour present in the atmosphere to produce Nitrous and Nitric Acid. 2NO2 + H2O --> HNO2 + HNO3 However, Nitrogen Dioxide can directly be converted to HNO3 directly in the presence of oxygen and moisture.

    • Word count: 783
  21. chemistry of sulphuric(VI) acid

    Production of sulphuric(VI) acid Sulphuric(VI) acid can be produced industrially by Contact Process. (a) Production and purification of sulphur dioxide Sulphur dioxide is produced by burning sulphur in air. S(s) + O2(g) SO2(g) Alternatively, sulphur dioxide can also be produced by roasting various metal sulphides in air as a part of their extraction process, for example: 2ZnS(s) + 3O2(g) 2ZnO(s) + 2SO2(g) 4FeS2(s) + 11O2(g) 2Fe2O3(s) + 8SO2(g) Sulphur dioxide obtained is purified to remove any impurities which may poison the catalyst in the reaction chamber. (b) Conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphur trioxide The purified sulphur dioxide is allowed to react with oxygen in the chamber containing vanadium(V)

    • Word count: 789
  22. Recycling. In science our task is to gather information about how people sort out their rubbish in my area. I should also find out the reasons why people recycle their rubbish

    Do you think it would make a different to the environment were living in? (And why) ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ Anything you would like to say? ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. After doing the questionnaire this is what I found out. I will show you my result in a chart. Do you recycle? In this chart you can see that more people do not recycle, whereas people recycle or sometimes recycle is the same amount 6/6. This means that Global warming is not being resolved in any kind of way because not enough people are recycling.

    • Word count: 724
  23. Free essay

    Science in the news: global warming

    Most scientists believe that global warming is due to the activities of humans. Causes of global warming: human activities/ other factors Scientists believe that human activities are responsible for global warming. There are many man-made problems that have contributed widely towards global warming. Pollution is one of the biggest man-made problems. Pollution comes in many shapes and sizes. Burning fossil fuels is one thing that causes pollution. Fossil fuels are fuels made of coal, or oil. When fossil fuels are burned they give off a green house gas called Carbon Dioxide. Another major man-made cause of Global Warming is population.

    • Word count: 707
  24. Nuclear Power

    The two new atoms then emit gamma radiation as they go into their new states. This Shows How A Nuclear Power Station Works. Power plants use heat supplied by a fuel to boil water and make steam, which tells a generator to make electricity. Evidence For Source 1 This source tells us that Nuclear Power has no contribution to global warming and it doesn't produce of any gas that's harmful to the earth. I think that this source is reliable because the website was made by the energy information administration - official energy statistics from the U.S government.

    • Word count: 706
  25. Acid Rain and Its Effects

    Acid rain is caused by water in any state (solid, liquid or gas) picking up gases such as nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide in any stage of the hydrological cycle. What matters is that as the acidic gases come into contact with the water and the two compounds become a mixture that is a dilute liquid acid. The amount of acidic gas the water picks up affects the acidity of the acid rain. There is more to this however, if an alkaline base is present in the water and all the acid is completely neutralized, though acid was in the rain, it cannot be called 'acid rain'.

    • Word count: 742

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